Iowa Women Throw Scare into No. 2 Buckeyes

The Hawkeyes almost knocked off second-ranked Ohio State Sunday at Carver, but a couple of costly scoring droughts cost the home team in a tough 67-60 loss. Jamie Cavey paced the Hawkeyes with 22 points and 10 rebounds - both game highs. "I feel good that we came out and at least competed today," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. "I told the team afterwards that this is a team that's better than UConn, better than Tennessee, better than Duke, and we came out and competed."

NOTES

Dry Spells: Iowa held a 34-22 lead with 6:09 remaining before halftime but allowed the Buckeyes to finish the first half on a 16-0 run. In addition to going scoreless for more than six minutes, the Hawkeyes experienced another cold spell that cost them after the intermissio.

Iowa grabbed a 53-47 lead with 11:24 remaining in the game when freshman Krista VandeVenter knocked down a jumper. However, the Hawkeyes tallied just two field goals after that bucket, helping the Buckeyes close the game on a 20-7 spurt.

Big Time Matchup: Ohio State center Jessica Davenport arrived in Iowa City riding the high of being named the WBCA National Player of the Month for January. Then, the sophomore ran into Jamie Cavey.

Cavey paced Iowa with 22 points and 10 rebounds as she staggered Davenport with a number of dandy low-post moves. Davenport countered with 21 points and nine boards. She blocked two of Cavey's shots late in the game to preserve the Ohio State victory.

Key Numbers: Iowa shot just 37.3 percent from the floor. The Hawkeyes stayed in the game by dropping in 7 of 16 3-point attempts in the opening half, but connected on just 1 of 10 tries after the intermission...Iowa outrebounded the visitors, 37-26, and did not allow the Buckeyes an offensive board in the second half...Ohio State guard Kim Wilburn recorded eight steals...Three of Iowa's starters committed at least three turnovers, and the other two each had two giveaways.

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QUOTES

Lisa Bluder

Opening Statement: I feel good that we came out and at least competed today. I told the team afterwards that this is a team that's better than UConn, better than Tennessee, better than Duke, and we came out and competed.

Still, we didn't take advantage of an opportunity. We threw that away in the last six minutes of the first half. You can't have a stretch where you're outscored 16-0. A lot of our turnovers came at that point, and they resulted in high percentage shots for Ohio State.

But Ohio State is obviously just a tremendous basketball team. They've got the inside-outside combination that makes it so hard to defend them.

I'm really thrilled with Jamie. Jamie came out and had a nice performance today.

We did a great job on the boards. We know that Ohio State is a very good rebounding team. For us to beat them by 11 on the boards really says something about our effort today.

But 57 percent shooting to 37 percent shooting, with that big of a margin in field goal percentage, you're not going to win a lot of basketball games. We have to find a way to shoot the ball a little bit better.

What did you tell your team at halftime after their run in the last six minutes to turn things around?

We talked about our turnovers happening in that six-minute stretch. And when you're having those offensive droughts, that's when you've really got to play defense. That's when you've really got to hang your hat on the defense.

For the most part, our team played pretty good defense today. The high percentage shots by Jessica Davenport, it's hard to defend. Those are very, very hard to defend when you have so many people on the outside that you have to worry about as well.

Is Davenport one of the better centers you'll face?

There are three premier centers in this league. Jessica Davenport, Jamie and McCarville (Minnesota). But with Davenport only being a sophomore, you're looking at one of the premier posts in the country in the next couple of years.

Did Ohio State do much differently when you guys went into your droughts?

Their pressure increased. They made it hard for us to initiate our offense. We had to initiate off of a dribble instead of a pass. That was difficult for us.

But they picked up their intensity and caused us some turnovers. Then those high percentage shots, layups off of turnovers, it's pretty hard to defend those.

Twenty six 3-point attempts today, was that something you felt your team had to do to be able to hang with Ohio State?

No. Not really. It's too many, particularly in the first half. I'm really disappointed in that.

We shoot the ball average from 3-point range. We need to be looking at our other options first and use that as a backup option.

From an intensity standpoint, is this the best you've seen your team perform for quite a while?

Yeah. The last two games have been more like the team that we had at the beginning of the year. It feels better. Everything feels better in the floor.

It didn't result in a win today, but it will in the future. If we're playing more intense, more focused, more together like we did today for these last four games going into the Big Ten Tournament, good things will happen for us.

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Jamie Cavey

Does this give you guys a shot in the arm confidence wise?

It could be a downer, but we need to look at it in a positive way. We hung with this team. We had the chance to beat them.

It just shows us that we are a good team. It's giving us more of that confidence that we had at the beginning of the year. We have it going into the Michigan State game (Thursday).

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Johanna Solverson

Can you talk about the difference from when you played at Ohio State to this game?

This game we just stayed with our defense. We came out and we were intense. We played great defense. We helped each other. We talked more on defense.

In the last game, we just had a stretch where we just kind of lost our defensive focus and they started scoring a lot of points and getting away from us. This game we stayed right with them offensively and defensively.

Even know you lost, is this more the Iowa style?

Even though we lost, this game still gave us a lot of confidence. It gives us confidence to go in and play Michigan State. This was the No. 2 team and we stayed right with them. I don't see any reason why we can't do the same thing against Michigan State.


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