Feb. 16, 2014
By DARREN MILLER
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- So this is how it feels to be bushwhacked, waylaid, ambushed.
The University of Iowa women's basketball team was in control for the majority of Sunday's game at Purdue, but fell in the final seconds, 74-73, in Mackey Arena.
Boilermaker senior Courtney Moses made two free throws with 0:07 remaining giving her 16 points in the second half and seven straight for her team. The Hawkeyes had a shot at the buzzer, but a 16-footer by freshman Ally Disterhoft spun off the rim.
"Ally's shot was in-and-out," UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. "We had the shot to win it, but by no means is it Ally's responsibility. We missed way too many shots in the paint early in the second half."
Iowa (20-7 overall, 8-5 Big Ten Conference) took a 16-point lead into the locker room at halftime, thanks to 60-percent shooting from the field (18-of-30) and 17 points from Theairra Taylor. The Hawkeyes were 6-of-11 from 3-point field goal range during the first 20 minutes with Taylor sinking three, Melissa Dixon two, and Claire Till one.
No. 23 Purdue (18-7, 8-5) took its first lead in the second half when Moses made a 3-pointer with 1:57 left to put the Boilermakers up, 70-67. Moses scored a game-high 25 points and was 7-of-10 from 3-point range.
"(Purdue) came out with a lot more intensity in the second half," Bluder said. "I'm going to look at our lack of defensive intensity in the second half; in the first half it was so good. In the second half we relaxed too much."
Even though the Hawkeyes had a 34-28 advantage in paint points, Bluder is still haunted by baskets that didn't fall from close range.
"We missed too many paint points," Bluder said. "That is glaring."
The lead changed five times in the final two minutes. Both times when the Hawkeyes regained the late advantage it was the result of a Samantha Logic field goal. For the third time this season, Logic compiled a triple-double: 18 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. She also had six steals.
"Sam contributes in so many ways," Bluder said. "Emotionally I think she got taken out of this game because she is such a competitor, she wants to win so badly, but we have to learn to control the things we can control which is our own play."
Taylor had just two free throws in the second half, but still finished with a team-high 19 points and added seven rebounds. Bethany Doolittle scored 15 points with six rebounds and four blocked shots. Disterhoft added 10 points.
The Hawkeyes swiped 14 steals: Logic had six and Taylor and Doolittle had four apiece.
There is heartbreak now, but it was still an impressive body of work by Iowa over the last seven days. They recorded victories Monday and Thursday and controlled most of Sunday's game against a nationally ranked opponent on its home floor.
"We know we can play with Purdue," Bluder said. "If we see them again it is probably going to be on a neutral court in the conference tournament. Knowing we can play with them is going to help us. But any time you lose a 16-point lead, that is a tough one to handle. You keep thinking about the `What ifs' all the time."
Iowa looks for its fifth conference road win Feb. 22 at Michigan (15-10, 6-6). It is the only regular season meeting between the teams.