Hawk hoops struggle
Last Thursday was another challenging night for Hawkeye fans. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams played at the same time.
The men were at home playing Minnesota while the women were on the road playing Purdue.
The men’s game was on ESPN2, the Women’s on the Big Ten Network and the BCS championship, Florida-Oklahoma, was on Fox.
I didn’t want to watch both Iowa games at the same time so I watched the men live and taped the women’s game.
They both lost so that was not a fun night, plus I was rooting for Bob Stoops and Oklahoma and they lost.
The women split.
I wish somebody out there could explain this.
Two weeks ago, Iowa plays one of its worst first halves of the season against Indiana, trails 42-17 and lost 76-54.
Last week, the Hoosiers travel to Minnesota and lose to the Gophers 70-62.
Last Sunday, Iowa started strong, finished strong and dominated the Gophers 74-57 snapping a three-game losing streak.
I know home cooking is important, but the Hawkeyes have three of the best seniors in the conference.
I wouldn’t trade Kristi Smith, Wendy Ausdemore or Megan Skouby for anyone else in the Big Ten.
Throw in Joann Hamlin, who had a season-high 21 points and a team-high 10 rebounds, plus Kachine Alexander, who could wear out the Energizer Bunny and you have a great lineup top to bottom.
Iowa’s bench is not what is was last year but Kamille Wahlin, Kelly Krei and Hannah Draxten, who are all freshman are coming on.
Kelsey Cermack, who was injured earlier in the season, is starting to play some valuable minutes also.
It sure helps when you can hit the open shot.
In Iowa's three-game skid on the road they never shot over 35%. Last Sunday in Carver they shot 52% from the floor and Kristi, who had a season-high 20 points, was 5-7 from behind the arc.
“It was good to be back on our home floor,” said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder. “I felt like our players just set the tempo early on defense. I thought our defense was very, very good to hold them to nine points in the first 12 minutes of this game. I was really happy with that.”
Iowa improved to 9-7, 2-3 in the Big Ten. If home cooking is the answer, the Hawks play five of the next seven at the friendly confines of Carver.
The Hawkeye women, even though they lost their third straight to Purdue 60-49, came out with energy for most of the game and got beat, for the second time in three games, by the team picked to win the Big Ten.
The Boilermakers have size, depth and can shoot the three, making 7-12 for 58% from behind the line.
They remind me a little bit of the Iowa team last year that had five seniors, great size and good three point shooters.
Kristi Smith and Wendy Ausdemore, who combined for only three points against Indiana in a 76-54 loss, dropped in 14 and 11 points. Kristi also had three assists and a steal.
Megan Skouby had a solid game with 14 points, eight rebounds and six blocks but the Hawkeyes turned the ball over 16 times, only shot 32% (18-56) from the floor and 31% (5-16) from the three point line.
Bottom line, it’s hard to win when the shots aren’t falling.
The men dropped two.
Iowa played Minnesota tough at home but didn’t show up against Michigan.
Talk about a tough loss. The Hawkeye men had a 13-point lead early in the first half against Minnesota in Carver last Thursday, led 26-20 at intermission, trailed by one with seven seconds left and lost 52-49.
The Hawks didn’t have an answer when Cyrus Tate went out with a major sprain on his ankle.
Jarryd Cole and Andrew Brommer combined for 30 minutes trying to replace Cyrus but could only come up with three points and four rebounds… all by Jarryd.
Jeff Peterson had 16 points but turned the ball over eight times. That’s not going to win many games when your point guard turns the ball over that many times.
Jeff gets in trouble when he tries to drive the lane and there is not an opening. It doesn’t help that Jeff has a broken bone in his left wrist but will wait until after the season to have surgery.
I think another thing that would help Iowa win more is Matt Gatens shooting more.
The 6-5 freshman was 4-5 from the field and 3-4 from 3-point range. For the season he is shooting 51% from the floor, 56% from the 3-point line and 97% from the free throw line.
Matt is also second on the team with 44 assists but if he is open, shoot!
Anthony Tucker got some good minutes at the end of the game. Anthony is not only a good 3-point shooter but he has the ability to drive to the basket and draw the foul like he did against Minnesota.
He is still trying to get his strength back from Mono, but he adds an extra dimension that Devan Bawinkel hasn’t shown yet.
Devan has not only not shot a free throw but all of his shots have come from behind the 3-point line.
All I’m going to say about the Michigan game is hurry back Cyrus.
He may have not helped them win, but Iowa didn’t have it on Sunday and lost 64-49 to the Wolverines.
I thought Iowa shot a lot of threes, but Michigan has put up over 450 3-pointers compared to the Hawkeyes' 368.
The Wolverines had nine players take at least one 3-pointer and they shot 7-22 from behind the line.
Iowa was 6-17 from 3-point range but Michigan had 24 field goals, Iowa only 17.
Jarryd Cole did a decent job scoring eight points down low, but Andrew Brommer was held scoreless again as he didn’t even take a shot.
Iowa which fell to 11-6, 1-3 in the Big Ten has a week off and that might give Cyrus a chance to play plus the rest of the team has to step up and contribute.
Iowa wrestlers win Midlands.
The Hawkeye wrestlers won 30 of 40 matches and cruised to the National Dual title in Cedar Falls last weekend.
Alex Tsirtsis (141), Brent Metcalf (149), Phil Keddy (184) and Dan Erekson (Hwt.) all went 4-0 to lead the charge.
The first three were not a big surprise but Dan Erekson is really coming on. He had two pins including one in the last match which helped the Hawks finish off Cornell 23-13 to win their 17th dual tournament title.
It was good to see Chad Beatty back at 197.
In the 22-11 win over Nebraska earlier in they day, Chad took the number-one wrestler Craig Brester into overtime before losing 7-5.
Iowa improves to 14-0 and has won its last 28 matches.
They face Oklahoma State this Sunday. The Cowboys have beaten the Hawks nine straight times.
It’s payback time!