Iowa falls in Italy finale, finishes trip 2-1
Iowa just missed an Italian trifecta Wednesday.
TK Hannover hit a pair of free throws in the final 15 seconds to edge Iowa 70-69 in the Hawkeyes' final game in Italy.
Iowa finished 2-1 on its 11-day Italian tour after earning wins over Dream Team Italian Select last Saturday and A.s.d. Pallacanestro Muggia on Tuesday.
"This was a good team that we played tonight," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "We did not box out as well as we had been boxing out and they had a key player that really hurt us and when we identified her we didn't do as good of a job as we needed just making sure we knew where she was and keeping her under control."
The Hawkeyes led 23-20 after the first quarter and held a 41-37 lead at the half.
Iowa took a 54-51 lead into the fourth quarter and led 69-68 before the two late free throws by TK Hannover.
"We have to be a lot sharper, we turned the ball over and had too many unforced errors, too many traveling calls, too many passes out of bounds," Bluder said. "We just have to be a little bit sharper."
Whitney Jennings led Iowa in scoring for the second straight game finishing with a team-high 23 points.
The sophomore guard had 16 of her 23 points in the second half, including 11 in the fourth quarter.
Jennings scored Iowa's final 10 points and gave Iowa a 69-68 lead on a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left.
"That is the Whitney that we saw in high school that kind of puts the team on her back and tries to carry them," Bluder said. "I think that is good but at the same time I need to her understand that we want five people in double figures. "We want her looking for her shots, but at the same time we need everyone to get involved in our offense to be successful."
Junior Ally Disterhoft was the only other Iowa player in double figures, finishing with 12 points and four rebounds.
Freshman center Megan Gustafson had eight points while sophomore Carly Mohns finished with seven points and eight rebounds.
"I think our freshmen are more comfortable and I think our sophomores are more comfortable," Jennings said. "I think everyone just has a better feel for the game."
Reach Ryan Murken at 319-339-7369 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @rmmurken.