Michigan State Whacks Hawkeye Women

By Jeff Linder, Reporter

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By Sam Louwagie

IOWA CITY — Lisa Bluder issued an apology after a sorry performance.

“I’m extremely disappointed in the way we played this game,” Bluder said after the Hawkeyes were blasted, 88-72, by Michigan State in a Big Ten women’s basketball game before 4,176 fans Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

She was just getting warmed up.

“I need to apologize to our fans. They didn’t get a dollar’s worth of entertainment on Buck Night. I’m embarrassed to have gotten down that much at home.”

The Hawkeyes (14-5 overall, 2-3 Big Ten) came into the game with an opportunity to tag the Spartans (12-5, 4-0) with their first conference loss and jump back into the Big Ten race.

Instead, they never had a chance.

Michigan State shot 54 percent from the field, including 9 of 14 from 3-point range. The Spartans outrebounded the Hawkeyes, 44-29, and drove to the basket at will.

“We suffered in all areas tonight,” Bluder said. “Offense, defense, rebounding.”

The Spartans led throughout and made a back-breaking run that started midway through the first half, a 16-2 job that turned a relatively competitive game (22-16) into a runaway (38-18).

It was 49-28 at halftime, and it didn’t get much better for the Hawkeyes after that. MSU enjoyed its largest lead at 77-48 with 7:09 to go before Iowa made any headway whatsoever.

“I don’t know if I’d say we had our way with them, but we were pretty focused and determined from the get-go,” said Spartans Coach Suzy Merchant. “Our offense started with our defense’s ability to get stops.”

Michigan State had five double-digit scorers, led by redshirt freshman Aerial Powers’ 20 points (on 7-of-9 field-goal shooting). Tori Jankoska came off the bench to score 19.

Iowa’s Bethany Doolittle scored a game-high 21.

“Nobody was shooting the ball very well, other than Beth,” said Iowa point guard Samantha Logic. “It’s my fault we didn’t get it to her more.”

Logic added 13 points and six assists. Ally Disterhoft added 12 and was part of a stretch in which she and fellow freshman Alexa Kastanek scored 16 straight Iowa points.

Iowa was 1-for-13 from long distance.

The Hawkeyes play at Ohio State at 2 p.m. Sunday.

“A loss like this has got to bug you,” Bluder said. “It’s got to tick you off. If you don’t attack a loss like this, you’d better hang it up.”

Read more: http://thegazette.com/2014/01/16/womens-bkb-michigan-state-at-iowa/#ixzz2qcsUup4O

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