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Smith sinks Illinois with late jumper

January 22, 2008
By TIMES-REPUBLICAN STAFF
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Kristi Smith’s running jumper with 6 seconds left gave Iowa a 60-58 victory over the Illinois women’s basketball team here Monday night in Big Ten Conference play.

Smith’s shot helped Iowa (11-7, 4-3) rally back from a deficit that reached as high as 11 points during the first half.

“This was a great road win for us,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder. “We showed tremendous composure as we trailed by as many as 11 points in the first half and battled back.”

Illinois (11-7, 3-4) pounded the ball into its 6-foot-3 sophomore center Jenna Smith, who finished with game highs of 21 points and 13 rebounds, but the Hawkeyes tried taking her away with a zone after her hot start.

Iowa erased a 28-17 Illini lead with a 10-0 run that was sparked by Wendy Ausdemore, who hit two 3-pointers, two free throws, and assisted on Megan Skouby’s layup to make it a one-point game.

The Hawkeyes did not gain their first lead until an 8-0 run in the second half gave Iowa a 52-51 edge with 8:44 left to play. Illinois tied it up three times after that but never got the lead back.

Krista VandeVenter, who led Iowa’s 31-29 advantage on the glass with 10 rebounds, stole the ball from Lori Bjork with 26 seconds left in a 58-all tie to set up Kristi Smith’s game-winning shot.

“We stayed calm and knew we had plenty of time to get a shot off,” Smith said. “We did a good job of executing the final play and I’m glad my shot went in.”

Iowa held the Illini to four points — all on free throws — over the final 8 minutes of the second half.

Bjork, a Johnston native, had four 3-pointers and 12 points for Illinois. Chelsea Gordon had 14 points.

Kristi Smith hit three 3-pointers and led a trio of Iowa players in double figures. Ausdemore and Skouby finished with 10 points apiece, Johanna Solverson added nine, and Iowa won its second straight.

The Hawkeyes, now tied for fourth in the Big Ten standings, return home to host Purdue at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Fact Box

Iowa 60, Illinois 58
At Champaign, Ill.
IOWA (11-7, 4-3) — Ausdemore 3-6 2-2 10, Solverson 3-4 1-2 9, VandeVenter 1-5 1-2 3, Schlapkohl 4-5 0-0 8, K.Smith 6-13 1-3 16, Emmert 0-0 0-0 0, Alexander 1-3 2-2 4, Graham 0-2 0-0 0, Skouby 5-7 0-0 10, Hamlin 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS 23-46 7-11 60.
ILLINOIS (11-7, 3-4) — Crutcher 1-8 3-3 5, Gordon 5-13 0-0 14, J.Smith 8-15 5-9 21, Bjork 4-9 0-0 12, Harris 0-8 4-4 4, Simpson 0-0 0-1 0, Buher 1-1 0-0 2, Chelleen 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 19-54 12-17 58.
Halftime—Illinois 35-31. 3-Point Goals—Iowa 7-12 (K.Smith 3-6, Solverson 2-2, Ausdemore 2-4); Illinois 8-24 (Bjork 4-9, Crutcher 3-3, Harris 0-5). Rebounds—Iowa 31 (VandeVenter 10); Illinois 29 (J.Smith 13). Team Fouls—Iowa 18; Illinois 12. Fouled out—none. A—1,258.

 
 

 

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