Black Sunday for women's Hawkeyes
Last week, the day after Christmas was called “Black Friday” for all the specials shoppers could get after the holiday.
Two days later, I thought it was “Black Sunday” for me after the Hawkeye women got beat 69-60 at Carver and the Chicago Bears got knocked out of the playoffs 31-24 at Houston.
The loss to Purdue is one of the many reasons I would have a tough time being a head coach.
Iowa opened the Big Ten season with a huge road victory over Wisconsin, 73-63, in which the Hawks led by as much as 20. They played with a lot of energy, won the rebound battle, had four players in double figures and played solid defense.
Against Purdue, Iowa played tough in the first half, then seemed to hit the wall in the second half and struggled on the boards losing the rebound battle, 40-33.
Three other numbers that stood out were Purdue’s 12 steals, 18 offensive boards and the Hawkeye's 19 turnovers.
“Our post defense was not the best and we didn’t score either,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder. “Joann (Hamlin) and Megan (Skouby) go for a combined 14 points and their starting four and five go for a combined 32 points. I thought we did a good job on their guards but their two posts were more than we could handle.”
Joann and Megan also only pulled down only eight rebounds between them.
Kristi Smith led the way with 16 points, three assists and two steals and Kachine Alexander came through with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
“We’ve got to give this kid credit,” said coach Bluder. “She was playing, she threw up before the game, not feeling well and goes out and gives this kind of performance. She gets to the free throw line 13 times and has eight rebounds.”
Both Kristi and Wendy Ausdemore played the full 40 minutes and Wendy finished with 13 points and five boards.
Iowa only went with seven players with Kelly Krei playing 16 minutes and Kamille Wahlin six.
The Hawks, which had their 12-game home streak stopped, dropped to 8-5, 1-1 in the Big Ten.
The only good thing that happened Sunday was the Dallas Cowboys lost 44-6 to Philadelphia and won’t make the playoffs…
Men bounce back
The Hawkeye men won’t get any style points in their 58-43 win over Western Illinois last Saturday at Carver.
Iowa was out-rebounded by the smaller Leathernecks 30-28, including 12 offensive rebounds to the Hawks' six.
Western had nine steals, Iowa four, but the only stat that counted in the end was the 15-point victory which gives the Hawkeyes 10 for the season.
“I say all the time I don’t rate wins,” said Iowa coach Todd Lickliter. “We just try to get it done and there’s different ways of doing it. They were a well-coached team, they executed, they made you play in the half court and you were going to need to make some jump shots.”
You start with the defense, which shut down Western Illinois in the second half. The Leathernecks led 23-22 at half but could only score 20 points in the second period and shot just 25%.
Throw in balanced scoring with Jake Kelly and Jermain Davis leading with 13 followed by Matt Gatens with 11.
David Palmer came in and got some solid minutes as Iowa’s big men struggled.
“One thing about David that I respect is that his attitude has always been good, he comes to practice, he brings energy and he supports people on the bench,” said coach Lickliter. “He give us something vocally, emotionally and I appreciate that and then the last couple of days he’s practiced well. I thought he had earned an opportunity to go in.”
Cyrus Tate and Jarryd Cole combined for only three rebounds and Jarryd fouled out. Iowa will need David to step up during Big Ten action because it is a physical league and the Hawks are thin at the post.