Iowa Women Slam UNI

The Hawkeyes improved to 6-0 with a 77-50 victory against Northern Iowa Sunday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, putting them two thirds of the way to a state championship. Crystal Smith led the way for the winners with 21 points, while freshman post player Stacy Schlapkohl added a career-high 18 points. Read comments from Smith, Schlapkohl and coach Lisa Bluder as well as items from the game and football players in attendance in this premium Notes & Quotes package.

Unstoppable: Iowa center Jamie Cavey possesses a left-handed sweeping hook that has proven to indefensible. She has shown the ability to shoot the shot from all different spots around the lane.

Defensive Improvement: Iowa frustrated the Panthers with 2-3 zone. The Hawkeyes mixed in a player-to-player alignment.

Improved Play: Krista VandeVenter showed improved played in her offensive game on Sunday. She hit a couple of midrange jumper and continued to attack the glass. Fellow freshman Stacy Schlapkohl also enjoyed a breakout game offensively with 18 points, although many of her tallies came in mop-up duty.

Popularity Contest: At halftime, the university honored people who endowed athletic scholarships and those athletes who receive the rides. Many of the football players and most of the men's basketball players were involved. Receiving the loudest applause were Jeff Horner, Matt Roth and Drew Tate.

Most of the athletes left at halftime. Tony Jackson, Lee Gray, Jovon Johnson, Marcus Paschal and Adolphus Shelton stayed for the second half. Defensive coordinator Norm Parker and his wife Linda also attended the game and have a scholarship endowed in the name of their recently deceased son, Jeff.

Tip-Ins: Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder pulled Cavey out of the game for several minutes in the second half after the all-Big Ten center missed a couple a rebound opportunities…Coach Bluder pulled her starters with about eight minutes left in the game…A solid crowd of 4,682 people attended the game.

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Quotes

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LISA BLUDER

Opening Statement: It feels great to be 6-0. I'm just very excited with the way that our team is playing. We shot the ball very well this game, and it was because we executed well on the offensive end. We got high percentage shots. We got a lot of layups; a lot of close shots. We made a lot of good cuts to the basket.

When Crystal (Smith) cuts to the basket, she's almost unstoppable. It's so much fun to watch her play and to watch her cut that hard and then elevate with her jump shot.

With Stacy (Schlapkohl), I just think that was such a fun night for her. She's worked very, very hard. We knew she was a great player coming in here. This is just a wonderful night for her.

Abby (Emmert), our point guard, had eight rebounds, a career high. It's kind of nice when your point guard has that many boards. It's the first time that Krista VandeVenter hasn't been our leading rebounder.

I'm probably most happy with our defense. We held them to 22 points in the second half. There was a seven-minute stretch where they didn't score. We had the game in control, but that stretch absolutely put it away.

Q&A

It seemed like last year however you guys played on offense affected how you played on defense. Is this team different?

I think so, at least for the first six plus two exhibition games. We're really playing both ends independently. We've learned that defense can win games. That's kind of a hard lesson to teach your players, but they've learned it well. They're enjoying playing defense. It makes it a lot easier to coach.

You had a big lead against Iowa State and kind of let it slip. Did the team learn from that?

I thought we did. We played 40 minutes of basketball. We kept our composure and focus the entire 40 minutes. We definitely played two halves. We closed.

The points in the paint were really lopsided. We're you surprised by that?

We felt like two of their best players were Hager and Cook. But we've been pretty good in the paint. We've scored our share of points in the paint. But that's pretty dominant, 46-14, is a little bit surprising.

You've always thought that the mythical state title was always important. How do you look at it now that you're two thirds of the way there?

We have one against Drake left, and that's a road game. We've had the advantage of playing at home in our first two. We know that it's going to be a lot more difficult going in to play Drake. And Drake is playing better right now.

We're going to take that game just as seriously because we don't want to go 2-1 in this series. We want to 3-0. We want to be the outright state champions. That's one of our team goals.

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Stacy Schlapkohl

What can a game like this do for your confidence?

It's a big confidence booster for me. The first couple of games, there are ups and downs. But I kind of stuck with it.

What's the biggest adjustment from high school to Division I?

Probably just the players I come against are the same height as me. They're physical. It's kind of getting in there and getting tough an knowing people are going to block your shot, but you need to be phsyical.

Did you guys learn from letting a lead go against Iowa State on Wednesday?

Once we get up in a game, we sometimes think, oh we've got this game won. But we've learned in the past that teams can sneak up on you. We just took it to them tonight.

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Crystal Smith

How confident are you offensively?

I have so much confidence this year. It's much better than last year. It's just mainly getting out there and not thinking about shooting. You know, let it come to you. I just have more and more confidence every game that I play.

How did getting all the turnovers help the momentum swing your way?

Oh, that helped it so much. You get those steals and you want to transition hard. It's great when your team can score off their turnovers.

Could you share your thoughts on how the season has started for you?

It's going great so far. I hope it continues to go good. When you come in and shoot and want to help your team out by coming in and shooting every day, those numbers will just come to you.

Is the state championship a goal?

Oh yeah. We have that as one of our goals this year along with other ones. But that is one of our main goals to be the top team in the state.


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