March 4, 2016
- Big Ten Tournament Central
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By DARREN MILLER
INDIANAPOLIS — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team opened its Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal against No. 5 Maryland by scoring 28 points, its most productive first quarter of the season.
But the Hawkeyes would tack on just 27 points over the final 30 minutes and were eliminated by the Terrapins, 75-55, on Friday in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Iowa finishes the regular season with a record of 19-13. The Hawkeyes did their best to impress the NCAA Selection Committee by winning four of their final six games and post at least 19 victories for the ninth consecutive season.
“I was proud of the way our team came out in the first quarter,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Obviously it takes four quarters and after that we pretty much lost it.”
UI junior Ally Disterhoft, who averages 17.1 points per game, scored 16 against Maryland by making 6-of-11 field goals and all three 3-point attempts. Disterhoft was 7-for-7 from 3-point range in two Big Ten Tournament games. She scored 10 points in the first quarter (4-of-4 from the field, 2-of-2 from distance) as the Hawkeyes raced to a 28-18 lead.
Iowa made 10 of its last 11 field goals in the first quarter and shot 75 percent from the field over the first 10 minutes (12-of-16). Disterhoft and senior Kali Peschel were both 2-for-2 from 3-point range as the Hawkeyes closed on an 18-6 run over the final 4:57 of the quarter.
Maryland used an 11-0 stretch in points off turnovers in the second quarter to grab a 39-32 lead at halftime. All the while, the Terrapins were strengthening their hold in the paint. They extended a 24-12 edge in points at halftime to 50-18 for the game.
Two Hawkeyes joined Disterhoft in double figures for points: sophomore Whitney Jennings (11) and Peschel (10). By shooting 3-of-4 from the field (2-of-2 from 3-point) and 2-of-2 from the line, Peschel reached double figures for the first time since the 18th game of the season on Jan. 16 at Michigan State.
“My teammates did a great job of setting me up and finding me in the cross,” Peschel said. “I’m glad the shots went down. As a senior it’s kind of a last go at it so feeling pretty good about the tournament.”
Maryland was led by Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough with 23 points apiece. Jones grabbed 15 rebounds (10 offensive).
Tania Davis had two assists and moved to second on the Hawkeyes’ all-time list for assists by a freshman with 110.
The Hawkeyes will discover their postseason fate Monday, March 14, when the NCAA announces its tournament pairings. Iowa is one of 10 teams that has qualified for eight consecutive NCAA tournaments.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” Bluder said of receiving an NCAA berth. “I do know we played in one of the toughest conference in America and we had a tough schedule. You have to look at the whole body of work, how we did in nonconference, what our strength of schedule was and things like that.”