Feb. 11, 2016
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — If you’re a fan of up-tempo women’s basketball, you were in for a treat Thursday when No. 6 Ohio State and Iowa got together inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Combined, 179 points were scored, 140 field goals attempted, 11 3-pointers made, and 10 players scored in double figures.
The visiting Buckeyes extended their Big Ten Conference winning streak to eight games with a 98-81 victory on Mediacom Court. League-leading Ohio State improved to 20-4 overall, 12-1 in the Big Ten by shooting 58 percent from the field for the game and 64 percent through three quarters (34-of-53). Iowa (15-10, 5-8) dropped its third straight.
It was another strong game on the boards for the Hawkeyes, who held a 40-34 edge in rebounding. Iowa out-rebounded Michigan State by six Feb. 7.
“Our rebounding was good, it’s been good the last couple of games,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “It’s just being able to stop people, get the defensive stops. We have a lead at Indiana, we don’t get defensive stops. All we have to do is get a defensive stop and win that game, and we don’t. Obviously the stops against Michigan State and Ohio State were few and far between and we let (Ohio State) shoot 58 percent.”
The Hawkeyes had their share of offensive superlatives. Junior Ally Disterhoft shared game-high scoring honors with 20 points. She also pulled down seven rebounds with five assists. Junior Alexa Kastanek scored 15 points and made 4-of-6 3-point field goals, her most productive outing since scoring 20 points with five 3-pointers Jan. 4 against Rutgers. Sophomore Whitney Jennings scored 14 points, freshman Megan Gustafson had 13, and sophomore Chase Coley added 12.
It was the fourth double-double in the last five games for Gustafson, who collected 11 rebounds (seven offensive).
“The first half I wasn’t shooting as well, then I tried to focus on rebounding,” Gustafson said. “That is kind of what I have gone to when I’m not contributing as much as I can.”
Jennings scored the first bucket of the game and there were five lead changes and a tie within the first three minutes. After a free throw by Kastanek pulled Iowa to within 18-15, Ohio State closed the first quarter on a 10-0 run.
“That was a really tough one for us,” Bluder said. “They were able to speed us up. I don’t mind playing fast when we’re taking shots we work on every day. Maybe we got going too fast and started losing our mental focus.”
Disterhoft made 6-of-8 field goals and had 13 points at halftime. Ohio State held a 53-39 lead at the break by shooting 67 percent in the second quarter and 60 percent over the first 20 minutes (21-of-35).
Iowa shot 45 percent from the field (32-of-71) and 68 percent from the line (13-of-19).
Freshman Tania Davis grabbed six rebounds, scored five points, and had four assists.
Ohio State was ked in scoring by Shayla Cooper and Kelsey Mitchell with 20 points apiece, Ameryst Alston scored 18.
The Hawkeyes open a three-game week Monday at Minnesota (17-7, 9-4) with a 7 p.m. (CT) tip. The final two games in that stretch will be at home: Thursday against Purdue (16-8, 7-6) and Sunday against Indiana (16-9, 8-5).