MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Down 15 at halftime because of miserable
shooting and even worse ball-handling, Iowa dug deep and threw
Minnesota's tough defense back in its face, rallying behind Wendy
Ausdemore's 23 points for a 58-56 win at Williams Arena to open the
Big Ten season.
Ausdemore's three-point basket with 6:42 left put the Hawkeyes
up for good at 49-46, helping coach Lisa Bluder to her first win at
Williams Arena in six seasons at Iowa.
"It's easy just to put your tail between your legs and go home,
and our team did not do that." said Bluder. "This is the Iowa
team I've been waiting to surface."
The loss was the third straight for the Gophers, and the first
in a Big Ten opener in five seasons under coach Pam Borton.
"Our team played outstanding in the first half, but our
defensive pressure on the ball wasn't the same as it was in the
first half," Borton said. "That was the difference."
That, and the Gophers' inability to make shots from in close.
They managed 23 offensive rebounds, but missed layups all night
long. The last miss came in the closing seconds, when Emily Fox
drove the lane but her shot fell out.
"I thought it was going in," said Fox, who epitomized
Minnesota's shooting woes by making just three of 12 shots. The
Gophers shot just 31.9 percent for the game.
Iowa rebounded from a dismal 7-for-21 first half from the field
by going on an 11-0 run early in the second half to get back into
"We came out and just pushed the ball at it, took it at them,"
said Ausdemore. "I think they got a little tired."
Iowa (9-5, 1-0 Big Ten) finally went ahead 40-39 on a driving
layup by Kristi Smith, their first lead since Katrina VandeVenter's
basket to open the game.
Minnesota (8-5, 0-1) failed to get their offense on track in the
second half, while Iowa began to surge. But a late run sparked by
Kelly Roysland's two straight three-pointers, followed by a steal
and a layup by Fox, brought the Gophers to within 57-56 with 28.9
The Gophers made another steal and set up for the win, but
Ashley Ellis-Milan's pass on the wing intended for Emily Fox was
stolen by Jenee Graham, who made one of two free throws for the
"I was glad to get my hands on it, glad I came up with it,"
said Graham. "We came out with aggressive defense and not allow
them to get a wide-open shot.
Roysland led the Gophers with 16 points, while Korrine Campbell
and Brittany McCoy each scored 10.
"We have to learn how to put two halves together," said
Roysland, the only senior and one of three returners from last
season's Minnesota team that went 11-5 in the Big Ten. "This is
the first taste that they got of what Big Ten basketball is going
to be like."
VandeVeter added 10 points for the Hawkeyes, who have won two
straight after losing three in a row.
The Gophers were aggressive from the outset, with Ellis-Milan
picking up three steals, four rebounds and drawing a charge in the
game's first 10 minutes to help build a 16-8 lead. Ellis-Milan had
ten boards, the fifth time this season she's had double-digits in
Consecutive layups by Roysland and Leslie Knight and two free
throws by Brittany McCoy pushed the Minnesota lead to 30-15. The
Hawkeyes at the time had as many turnovers as points, and had
missed 13 of their first 19 shots.