Bloomington, Ind. Indiana looked good offensively, but suffered a 78-69 defeat at the hands of Iowa Sunday at Assembly Hall.
The Hoosiers fell to 10-14 overall and 3-10 in the Big Ten, with the Hawkeyes improving to 14-9 overall and 8-4 in conference.
With Indiana entering as the worst-shooting team in the Big Ten (.386 pct) and Iowa leading the conference in scoring (74.5 ppg), the Hawkeyes entered as clear favorites.
The game was played at Iowas pace, with the two teams trading baskets rapid succession throughout the second half. The Hoosiers looked better offensively than they have in some time, converting on 27-of-53 attempts from the field in the contest (50.9 pct.)
However, Indiana simply was unable to stay with the high-powered Hawkeyes for a complete 40 minutes.
Jenny DeMuth and Cyndi Valentin each had 20 points in the contest. DeMuth also picked up four assists, seven rebounds and five steals. Angela Hawkins led the team with nine rebounds and scored nine points and had four blocks.
Indiana roared out of the gates to a 16-2 lead, and went on to convert on nine of its first 13 attempts from the field. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers harassed Iowa into 3-of-14 shooting to start the game. A large part of the defensive success of Indiana early in the first half was the play of Angela Hawkins inside. Hawkins matched a career high with four blocked shots in the first seven minutes of the game alone.
The Hawkeyes fought back, however, going on a 24-9 run to take a 26-25 lead. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half, with Iowa going into the locker room with a 35-33 advantage behind 13 points from Jennie Lillis. Cyndi Valentin countered with 13 points of her own to pace the Hoosiers in the first half. Jenny DeMuth added eight points and three steals.
Iowas consistent ability to draw fouls against Indiana assisted in the Hawkeyes first-half rally, as Iowa converted on 9-of-11 free throws in the first half.
Indianas 33 first-half points Sunday were the most since the Hoosiers put 35 points on the board in the first half against Arkansas on December 20. In addition, the Hoosiers 53.8 field goal percentage in the first half was the highest-percentage shooting half of basketball for Indiana since draining 13-of-24 field goal attempts in the second half against North Carolina State on December 14 (54.2 pct.)
The Hoosiers return to action when they host Michigan at 7 p.m. Thursday at Assembly Hall. The game can be heard live throughout the Indiana Womens Basketball Radio Network with Jeremy Gray calling all the action.