Iowa Women Win 8th Straight; Bluder Gets 500

After starting the Big Ten season at 2-3, the Iowa women's basketball team has reeled off eight victories in a row. Its latest conquest came on Sunday in State College, where the Hawkeyes knocked off Penn State, 73-65. Coach Lisa Bluder captured her 500th career win as Kristi Smith led the way with 20 points and four assists. Johanna Solverson added 16 points, 7 boards and 4 assists.

Game Summary:

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Notes & Quotes:

Today's victory earns Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder her 500th career victory.

Penn State has now lost seven of its last eight contests, while Iowa earned its eighth-straight victory, the most consecutive wins by any Big Ten squad this season. Iowa's last loss came Jan. 10 at Michigan State.

Iowa will conclude the day alone in first place. The Hawkeyes entered today tied with Purdue for the Big Ten lead, but the Boilermakers don't play until tomorrow night at Michigan State.

Iowa snapped a four-game losing skid at the Bryce Jordan Center today (Iowa's last win at Penn State came six years ago today, Feb. 10, 2002). The Hawkeyes have now won three-straight overall games against the Lady Lions. Iowa improves to 19-14 all-time against Penn State.

Penn State closed to within one point twice late in the second half. Iowa responded on each of its next possession. Up 58-57, Johanna Solverson drained a 3-pointer from the baseline to expand Iowa's lead to four (61-57) with 3:40 left. Up 61-60, Kristi Smith scored six-straight points to give the Hawkeyes a seven-point cushion (67-70) with 1:29 left.

Iowa out-rebounded Penn State 29-24. The Hawkeyes have out-boarded their opposition the last four contests. Iowa ranks first in Big Ten rebounding margin.

Iowa converted a season-best 95 percent from the charity stripe today. The Hawkeyes missed only one free throw attempt (19-20).

Kristi Smith poured in a game-high 20 points, netting 13 points in the second half. Smith has reached 20 points a team-best three times this season. Smith was a perfect 7-7 from the foul line.

Wendy Ausdemore had 10 points today. The junior has netted double digits 17 times this season, including 10 of the last 12 contests

Johanna Solverson, who netted her 1,000th career point last Thursday vs. Michigan State, scored 11 of her 16 points in the first 20 minutes. She fouled out with 3:09 to play. Solverson has reached double figures in three of the last five contests. She also finished with four assists to move past Jolette Law and tie Nadine Domond for fifth in Iowa career assists (357). Solverson also had a game-high seven rebounds today.

Iowa led 30-20 late in the first half, but the Lady Lions closed the half on an 8-3 run to cut their deficit to five (33-28). The Hawkeyes have led at intermission in 11 of their 14 conference contests. The Black and Gold led by as many as 14 points in the first stanza. Iowa shot 50 percent (14-28) from the floor in the first 20 minutes.

Iowa started the game on a 18-4 run making eight of its first nine field goal attempts, including two triples. The Lady Lions' first two points came at the foul line. Penn State didn't make its first field goal until the 15:30 mark. Johanna Solverson scored the Hawkeyes' first seven points.

Iowa remains on the road when it travels to West Lafayette, IN, Thursday night to face the Purdue Boilermakers. Tip-off is slated for 6:05 p.m. (CST).

Post-Game Quotes

Head Coach Lisa Bluder

"It feels good to get career win No. 500, but I'm happier about winning eight in a row and staying on top of the Big Ten standings."

"I'm proud of how we kept our composure down the stretch. We made big baskets and played good defense."

"Kristi (Smith) is such a good shooter. I feel so comfortable with her shooting the basketball."

"Johanna (Solverson) put us on her back early in the contest. Kristi and Johanna both made huge jump shots when Penn State got close."

Senior Johanna Solverson

"It's great to get a win here! This is my first win at Penn State. I'm glad to be on the team that got Coach Bluder her 500th career win."

(On making a big 3-pointer when Penn State closed to within one point)

"Kristi drove to the basket and Penn State's defense collapsed leaving me open on the baseline. I knew she was going to dish me the ball and I was ready for it."

"Kristi was great down the stretch! I told her during one of the last timeouts to take more shots and she delivered."


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