Unveiling: The Hawkeyes held a short pre-game ceremony to raise a banner honoring its trip to the NCAA Tournament last season. Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder and 2004 senior Becca McCann represented the team at center court.
McCann, who is the significant other of former Hawkeye and current Oakland Raider Robert Gallery, brought a group of youth basketball players to the game.
Empty Seats: What was expected to be a large crowd turned out to be pretty disappointing. The university announced the attendance at 4,211. The game was televised locally on KCRG TV-9.
A for Armstrong: Senior Jenna Armstrong really gave the Hawkeyes a lift off of the bench, hitting for a career-high 15 points in 5-for-12 shooting from the 3-point range.
Armstrong's trey with just over 3 minutes remaining in the game halted a big Cyclone run that had pulled the visitors to within 12 points at 73-61.
Incredible Hulk: Freshman Krista VandeVenter played a key role down the stretch for the Hawkeyes, displaying amazing strength for a rookie.
ISU was making another run with about two minutes left when the first-year performer grabbed an offensive rebound for a putback, and then blocked a shot leading to a Crystal Smith lay-up. She finished with 10 points and eight boards.
Tip Ins: Iowa State cut a 26-point Iowa second-half lead to eight points with just over a minute to go. The Hawkeyes sealed the deal by making 6 of 8 free throws in the final 60 seconds…Smith posted career highs in rebounds (8) and assists (8)...Five Iowa players scored in double figures...Iowa held a 14-0 advantage in fastbreak points...The Hawkeyes now have a 5-2 lead in the Cy-Hawk Series...Iowa's bench outscored the visitors, 28-19...The Hawkeyes made 24 of 29 free throw attempts.
Opening Statement: This is a great win for our program. In the first half, again, we came out and just dominated defensively. We let up too many points in the end, but we took the game away in the first half, especially the first 30 minutes.
I love that we have five people in double figures. That's tremendous. We built a 25-point lead, and with Iowa State it's never enough. They're so explosive offensively. They have the capibility to score points at such a quick rate.
We lost our focus for a little while on the defensive end. We can't afford to do that. But we have a young team. And they learned a lesson today. And I really don't think it's going to happen again. To maintain that big of a lead for that long of a time is hard with a young team.
I'm really thrilled with our effort. Our fastbreak got going. We pushed the ball very well. Crystal Smith, again, was just tremendous. I'm really excited by the way that Crystal is playing.
Lisa , it looked like you were trying to not give up the three point shot and make them beat you off of the dribble.
We did not want to give up the open threes. We really respect the way that they're shooting the ball from the outside. One of our keys was to take away the three.
We did a decent job of that; but again, too many open ones when we lost our focus for that five-minute mark in the second half.
Coach, when you get that kind of balanced scoring, you're going to be tough to beat.
It is. We always try to stress the balanced scoring. We had people coming off the bench. Jenna scores 15 offf the bench. Morgan had two big baskets for us. Stacy Schlapkohl has a three point play; makes her free throw. We're getting a lot of contributions.
With this young of a team, did you think you guys could be 5-0?
You always hope that. You always want that. But truly when you have such a young team, you don't know what you're going to get. You try to prepare your players, but you don't know what's going to happen because you don't know how they're going to respond. The haven't been through it yet.
With this young of a team, to be 5-0, they've done just a tremendous job.
Crystal, what were you trying to do defensively? You looked like you were hawking O'Neil pretty hard every time she crossed halfcourt.
I was just doing what coach told me to do. Anne O'Neil, she's a very good player. She's good offensively. My coach told me to keep dogging and see if you can get a few steals. I tried to do that and take her out of here game.
Were you guys trying to get them so they couldn't set their offense up?
No. Mainly I just did it to take her out of her game; just, you know, to get in her head.
Jamie did you sense that they were stunned when you guys were on that 26-2 run?
We would get stunned of the other team was on a 26-2 run. I don't think I really realized it at the time. But I'm sure that it propelled us into the game.
Did you sense that they were getting a little frustrated?
Yeah. Our team can sense that. That's when you'll see Crystal get a lot of her steals because she knows. Our whole team knows when they feel rushed that that's when we're going to get our steals.
After you lost to Iowa State last year, you said it was the longest bus ride you ever had. How does this one feel?
It feels awesome right now. Of course, it's an entirely different year, but we still do remember last year. We know how it was. This is such a better feeling to know that it was such a great team win.
At the end, they went on a run, and we stayed composed. And that's something that will help us in the long run, too.
Jenna, can you talk about the three you made late in the game that stopped one of their big runs?
The reason that I made it was because I wasn't even thinking about it. Obviously, I had a lot of open shots. And I just kept shooting them. It's great when you team has confidence in you. I feel like muy teammates and my coach has a lot of confidence in that.
Opening Statement: Iowa is an outstanding team; very talented; extremely well coached. We knew they were good. And they were good in person.
We got off to a terrible start. The two things that we talk about all the time are stopping transition baskets and not fouling people. We did both of them tonight. It put us in a whole.
I'm very proud of the effort of our team in the second half. We were playing a very good team down 25, 26 points. People of less character, people of less commitment would have rolled over and played dead and let Iowa just pummel them.
The better team won tonight, no question.
Could you talk about how Crystal Smith affects things on the floor?
Crystal Smith is a really good player. I told Coach Morgan that she's obviously a lot better player than he was (laughter).
The thing that I like about Crystal Smith is that she can impact the game at both ends of the court. There are great players that can score. There are players that can defend. She does both. She scores. She defends. She steals the ball. She gets assists.
She set the tone right out of the gate. She made some steals; transition baskets. To her credit, she's a lot better player than she was last year. She's obviously worked hard on her game. She's been very well coached to be a better player.
We're not going to play against very many guards much better than her. I hope not, anyway.
How did the 26-2 run affect your team?
You're always surprised when somebody is kicking you around a little bit. But we missed some shots that we need to make. We got mauled in the post in the first half. We missed a lot of easy shots. We gave them too many opportunities.
The key in the first half was transition baskets by them. We're 9 for 30 (from the floor) with 10 turnovers. I don't care who you're playing against, on the road, that's not a good thing.
Iowa just kept playing. They didn't relax. The team that I like about teams like that and what we're trying to do with our team is I don't think they looked at the scoreboard. They just kept playing and getting the lead bigger and bigger.
Could you just talk about the first half? They went on that big run. What happened?
I don't know. If I could tell you, it wouldn't have happened. But they just came out very aggressive. We weren't really mentally prepared coming into the first half. Physically, they just outplayed us. We weren't really playing well on defense and on offense we had too many turnovers. Those are always signs for trouble right there.
Did their perimeter pressure make it hard for you to run your offense?
I don't think so. We were just a little stagnant; a little bit slow trying to get into our offense; kind of held the ball too much; weren't making crisp passes.
What about the run you made down the stretch?
It's great. It's a good thing we came back a little bit in the second half and were able to play a little bit more of our style; play with a little bit of fire underneath us.
But we're not really looking for moral victories here. A loss is a loss. It depends what you do in 40 minutes of the game.
We have to commend Iowa. They played a great game.
How much of an effect does Crystal Smith's speed have on the game>
I mean, she's a good defender and was able to get some steals and is very quick up the floor and everything like that. But we kind of took ourselves out of the game a little bit and just sat around a little bit offensively. And defensively we just weren't bumping quick enough.
It seemed like you guys had trouble getting the ball inside early and that hurt the outside game. Did it feel like that to you guys?
Yeah. We weren't playing with enough intensity. We weren't looking for our normal shots. We just weren't looking for our normal style of play. We were playing scared.