By Don Lund
The Hawkeyes’ 88-72 loss to the Michigan State women last Thursday was tough to watch.
Iowa relies on its 3-point shooting, but have won games when they are not hitting from the outside.
Against the Spartans, the Hawks were not only cold from the outside (1-13) but got crushed on the boards 44-29.
Size, balance and quickness were on Michigan State’s side as the Spartans had five players in double figures, the Hawkeyes three.
Bethany Doolittle scored 21 and was a tough match-up in down low as Iowa actually outscored State in the paint, 42-32. Ally Disterhoft came off the bench scoring 12 and grabbing seven rebounds.
The Spartans countered by going 5-9 from 3-point range in the first half and 4-5 in the second half which is 9-14 (64.3 percent) for the game. That’s tough to overcome.
“They are a good team and we didn’t shoot the ball well,” said head coach Lisa Bluder. “If you want to beat a good team, you’ve got to shoot free throws well and you’ve got to make lay ups. There’s such a small margin of error when you’re playing against a very good basketball team.”
The good news is Iowa doesn’t have to play Michigan State again, unless it’s at the Big Ten Tournament.
Here we go again.
Iowa was up against the wall… again!
They traveled to Ohio State Sunday, a place Lisa Bluder hasn’t won since taking over the Iowa job 14 years ago.
The Hawkeyes went into the game with a 2-3 record in the Big Ten including two home losses, so to say the 81-74 win over the Buckeyes was big one would be pretty close.
A loss would have Iowa at 2-4 and really put them behind the eight ball.
It all started last Friday, the day after getting smoked by Michigan State.
Lisa Bluder challenged her team to step up and they sure responded.
The coach decided to shuffle her lineup and start freshman Ally Disterhoft for the first time to try to get a little more offense.
What a great move.
Ally hit two 3-pointers and a jump shot in the first five minutes, the Hawks take a 49-36 halftime lead and hold on for the win.
The former West High Trojan finished the game with a career-high 24 points, including 12-12 from the free throw line. She also pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds.
Iowa had five players in double figures with Alexa Kastanek coming off the bench with 10 points.
It was good to see Melissa Dixon, who was held scoreless against Michigan State, drain two 3-pointers and total 16 points.
The Hawkeyes also were 17-19 from the free throw line, including 8-8 in the second half. They had 18 assists led by Samantha Logic’s five.
“That’s what makes this game special,” said coach Bluder. “We’re on the road, we get the win but they kept coming back on us and we withstood their challenges and answered with some really big shots.”