Jan. 20, 2016
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Big Ten Conference women’s basketball standings became more muddled Wednesday after Penn State shocked the University of Iowa, 82-69, in front of 3,873 on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Penn State (7-11 overall, 2-5 Big Ten) ended a five-game losing skid by shooting 49 percent from the field and out-rebounding the Hawkeyes (13-6, 3-4) by 14.
“I want to congratulate Penn State,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “They came out and played a great game. They came out with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder and they took it at us.”
UI sophomore Chase Coley made 7-of-10 field goals and shared game-high scoring honors with 16 points. Junior Ally Disterhoft had a tough night shooting (3-of-14 from the field), but still managed 13 points with seven rebounds, three assists, and two blocked shots. The Hawkeye point guard duo of sophomore Whitney Jennings and Tania Davis combined for 20 points, nine assists, six steals, and five rebounds.
“We have to start playing with more emotion on the court,” Coley said. “We have to take these lessons to heart and start focusing on, OK, we lost that one, but you don’t want to play us next because we’re hungry for a win right now.”
Sunday can’t come soon enough for the Hawkeyes. That’s their next opportunity (at Purdue) to snap out of a funk of four losses in five games.
“Collectively we need to play better defense,” Disterhoft said. “It’s not one area, it’s collectively, and we need to improve upon that.”
Penn State made 12-of-16 field goals in the first quarter and took a 25-19 lead. It is the most first-quarter points allowed by the Hawkeyes this season. Iowa pulled within three points at 36-33 with 3:00 left in the second quarter when Davis drove the lane for a layup. That was as close as the Hawkeyes would get. Penn State led, 46-38, at the break; Iowa never had a lead.
Jennings paced the Hawkeyes at halftime with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field; Davis had four assists and three steals. Jennings finished with 11 points and three assists, Davis had nine points, six assists, and four steals. Sophomore Christina Buttenham came off the bench and pulled down six rebounds (four offensive) in 16 minutes. Disterhoft also had four offensive rebounds.
Iowa shot 35 percent from the field (24-of-68) and a season-low 16 percent from 3-point (4-of-25). The Hawkeyes forced 17 turnovers and turned that into 17 points.
Iowa returns to action — and the road — Jan. 24 at Purdue (14-4, 5-2). Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. (CT) and the game will be televised by BTN. The Boilermakers lost at home Wednesday to Nebraska, 62-61.