8:05 PM ET, January 9, 2006
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Iowa got some extra motivation from something they heard from the Michigan State bench in the second half."Something about how 'it's just Iowa,' and about how they should be beating us," the Hawkeyes' Krista VandeVenter said after Iowa's 75-64 victory over the Spartans on Monday night. "It kind of made us mad and made us want to beat them even more."Freshman Megan Skouby scored a season-high 27 points Crystal Smith had 18 and VandeVenter 17 to lead the Hawkeyes (10-5, 3-1 Big Ten)Skouby dominated the Spartans' zone defense with turnaround jumpers and hook shots, and finished 12-for-20 from the field. Her point total was the most by an Iowa freshman since Tiffany Gooden scored 36 in the 1994-95 season."That's the best she's played all year, by far," Michigan State coach Joanna P. McCallie said. "I think that's the best Iowa's played all year based on the film I've watched."Iowa forced 21 turnovers and held Michigan State (12-4, 2-1) to 4-for-16 on 3-point attempts.The Spartans held a 29-27 halftime lead before Skouby sparked the Hawkeyes with 19 second-half points on 6-for-6 shooting.The Hawkeyes had a 10-0 run early in the second half to build a 46-36 lead.Liz Smith led Michigan State with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Lindsay Bowen added 13 points.Crystal Smith was scoreless through the first 12 minutes before helping Skouby in a second-half scoring barrage. Smith hit a jumper with 7:05 left in the first half to give the Hawkeyes their first lead at 20-19.She hit two others during a 10-2 run that padded Iowa's lead to 22-19."This is the win we needed last year which everybody said kept us out of the NCAA tournament," said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder. "We didn't have any Top 25 wins. We got one against No. 9 tonight."