Strong second half lifts Iowa past Panthers

Ryan Murken
Iowa's Ally Disterhoft takes a shot during the Hawkeyes' game against UNI at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.  David Scrivner / Iowa City Press-Citizen

Iowa entered its meeting with in-state foe Northern Iowa the third highest scoring team in the country.

The Hawkeyes' proved Tuesday they could win without piling up mountains of points.

Iowa overcame a sluggish start and a season-low scoring output while grinding out a 73-45 win over Northern Iowa (1-2) at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

Northern Iowa was ssomewhat uccessful at slowing the tempo Tuesday holding the Hawkeyes 22 points below their season average of 95 points per game.

It wasn't nearly enough as Iowa forced the Panthers into 22 turnovers and 31 percent shooting while improving to 5-0 on the season.

"We don't like to play this way so I guess it's good when you get a 28-point victory this way," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "It's not really our style but we did still get up tempo."

Ally Disterhoft had a game-high 18 points to lead three Iowa players in double figures as the Hawkeyes shook off a 1-of-12 shooting performance to open the game.

Samantha Logic added 13 points and seven rebounds while freshman Whitney Jennings added 12 points and four assists as Iowa won for the eighth straight time over Northern Iowa.

Northern Iowa got 13 points each from Jen Keitel and Stephanie Davison but couldn't overcome 22 turnovers that lead to 15 Iowa points.

"It came down to turnovers," Northern Iowa coach Tanya Warren said. "We knew coming in against a team like Iowa who is extremely efficient offensively that our margin of error was very small and I really like what we did defensively but as potent as an offense as Iowa has you have to be able to score and you have to limit your turnovers and we didn't do a very good job of that the second half."

Iowa missed 11 of its first 12 field goals and had a nearly seven minute scoring drought in the first half yet still led 26-21 at the break.

The Hawkeyes wasted little time cranking up the effort, the defense and the tempo in that order to start the second half.

Iowa switched up its defensive, employing a trapping zone in an attempt to bump the game's tempo into overdrive.

The change in defense coupled with an increase in intensity broke the game open for Iowa.

"We just wanted to speed up their offense a little bit so we can get out and run hopefully," Logic said. "That's what we want to do is push in transition and in the second half we did a better job of that."

After a Davison layup cut the Iowa lead to 28-25 with just under 18 minutes left in the game Iowa rattled off a 10-0 run that spanned nearly seven minutes.

Alexa Kastanek's 3-pointer with 12:22 left pushed the lead to 37-25 and Jennings capped the 10-0 spurt with a free throw at the 10:55 mark.

Northern Iowa finally got a basket by Davison with 10:38 left but a layup by Disterhoft and a 3-pointer by Jennings pushed the lead to 43-27 and the Panthers never got closer than 15 the rest of the way.

"We were just trying to cause some havoc out there," Disterhoft said. "They were trying to take some time off the clock so we just wanted to speed things up and it's fun to play that way."

Iowa scored 47 points in the second half and committed just two turnovers after intermission.

Meanwhile, Northern Iowa committed 11 turnovers in the final 20 minutes and shot just 27 percent from the floor in the second half.

"You have to give Iowa credit in terms of what they did defensively which did not allow us to get into our sets," Warren said. "Again it came down for us to turning the basketball over."