Iowa City, Iowa The Indiana womens basketball team dropped a hard-fought battle to Big Ten opponent Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Thursday night, 72-65. With the loss, IU slips to 8-7 overall and 1-3 in the conference, while Iowa improves to 8-7 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten.
The Hoosiers led for the first five and a half minutes before Iowa tied the game at 10 at the 14:19 mark. The score would remain tied for just over the next three minutes until Iowa jumped ahead, 13-10. From that point on Iowa never looked back, going on a 15-11 run the last 10 minutes for a 28-21 halftime advantage.
The second-half was an all out battle of back-to-back scoring from both ends of the floor, but anytime the Hoosiers made a surge on the boards, the Hawkeyes answered back. Iowa had its largest lead of the night, 19 points, with two and a half minutes remaining. The Hoosiers then went on a 16-4 run, led by Jenny DeMuth and Carrie Smith to pull within seven, but it wasnt enough as Iowa went on to capture the win.
Indiana head coach Kathi Bennett had stressed the importance of defense during practice this week, but the Hoosiers came up short during the game.
Our defense was not as good in the second half as it needed to be, Bennett said. We couldnt get a stop when we needed one, and Iowa took advantage.
Free throw shooting and turnovers were the major differences in the game. The first Hoosier didnt make it to the line until the 11:56 mark in the second half. Overall, Indiana was 4-12 from the line and Iowa was 15-20. The Hoosiers turned the ball over a season high 27 times in the contest, leading to 23 Iowa points.
DeMuth finished with 26 points, a Big Ten career high, and seven rebounds. This is DeMuths ninth 20-point game this season and seven out of the last nine games. DeMuth also had a career-high seven steals to tie her for fourth in IUs record book for steals in a single game.
Sarah McKay pitched in with six points, 13 rebounds and four blocks of her own. Her four blocks are a career high. Smith also contributed five points in two minutes as she came off the bench late in the game.
The loss marks the fifth consecutive road loss for Indiana against a Big Ten opponent, dating back to last season. Iowa extends its winning streak over Indiana in games played in Iowa City to eight games.
We have to refocus and get ready for Northwestern on Sunday, Bennett said.
The Hoosiers are back home on Jan. 18 to face Northwestern at Assembly Hall. Game time is set for 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on 105.1 WHCC with Jeremy Gray calling all the action.