Iowa women improve to 2-0 on Italian trip
Another game, another win for the Iowa women's basketball team on its Italian tour.
Iowa broke open a five-point game at the half with a dominant final two quarters on its way to a 91-47 win over A.s.d. Pallacanestro Muggia on Tuesday in Trieste, Italy.
The win was the second straight for Iowa on its 11-day Italy tour after opening with an 84-52 win over Dream Team Italian Select on Friday.
"We really challenged them at halftime, we challenged them that we should be doing a lot better job defensively and with our fundamentals and I'm really happy because they responded," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "They responded with great energy they got back to fundamentals the second half and took care of business."
Iowa led 36-31 at the half but outscored A.s.d. Pallacanestro Muggia 55-16 over the final 20 minutes.
Four Iowa players scored in double figures and all 12 available players logged minutes for the second straight game.
"The first half we weren't really meshing very well, so I think that is what we changed in the second half is our defense and obviously defense leads to offense for us," junior Alexa Kastanek said.
Sophomore Whitney Jennings led the Hawkeyes with 16 points and added six rebounds.
Jennings was in double figures for the second consecutive game after scoring 14 in Friday's win.
The sophomore guard had 14 of her 16 points in the second half.
"Coming out in the second half we got a couple of three-point shots to go and I think that really got us going," Jennings said. "Our defense picked up and we were able to get some steals and some rebounds and that just led to our offense."
Kastanek finished with 11 points, her second straight double-digit scoring effort while junior Ally Disterhoft finished with a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Freshman Megan Gustafson added 13 points and grabbed five rebounds to pace four Hawkeyes in double figures.
"The girls up top were slowing it down and looking side and when I did get the ball and I got in trouble they were there for me to kick it out to them," Gustafson said. "That really helped out in the second half."
Iowa had nine players with at least five rebounds led by Disterhoft's 12.
Sophomore Chase Coley had nine points and seven rebounds while Carly Mohns and Hailey Schneden both grabbed seven.
Kali Peschel chipped in with eight points and five rebounds and freshman Hannah Stewart had seven points and five rebounds.
Iowa concludes its three-game stretch on Wednesday against TK Hannover.
"It's going to be a quick turnaround because tomorrow we play I think the best competition that we are going to face," Bluder said. "This is a team that I understand from Germany that beat Boston College just a couple of weeks ago so they are a pretty good basketball team."