Penn State basketball: Lady Lions can’t stop Iowa guard, Hawkeyes

wmoody@centredaily.comFebruary 7, 2014 

— Iowa coach Lisa Bluder calls Hawkeye guard Samantha Logic a “triple-double waiting to happen every single night.”

Penn State coach Coquese Washington said basically the same thing prior to Thursday’s game against Iowa.

Logic did not defy either statement.

The junior scored 14 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had 10 assists in leading the Hawkeyes to a 73-70 upset of the No. 9 Lady Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday. Logic’s final piece of her second triple-double of the season was an assist on Bethany Doolittle’s game-winning basket with 1:12 remaining.

Ally Disterhoft was near-perfect and tied a career-high with 24 points as the Hawkeyes (18-6 overall, 6-4 Big Ten) ended a five-game losing streak to Penn State. Maggie Lucas had 21 points for the Lady Lions (17-5, 8-2) who had their six-game winning streak snapped and dropped to into a first-place tie with Michigan State in the conference standings.

Logic led a Hawkeye attack that was the first to shoot 50 percent against Penn State this season. The Hawkeyes drained 28 of 56 shots, helped mightily by freshman Disterhoft, who was 8 of 9 from the floor, including 3 of 3 from 3-point range.

“It’s unbelievable having a point guard that can contribute in so many ways,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said of Logic. “It’s not just assists and not just scoring, whether it’s rebounds or steals ... that’s just wonderful.”

The contest was tight throughout with neither team leading by more than eight. Lucas’ 3-pointer tied the score at 40-40 at the half, but Iowa made 5 of 6 out the break to take the game’s biggest lead at 52-44 with 16 1/2 minutes remaining.

“They did a really good job of attacking off the dribble and getting into the paint,” said Penn State coach Coquese Washington, whose team defeated the Hawkeyes 87-71 earlier this season. “They did a good job of finding shooters and cutters once they got into the lane.”

Logic did the driving and often she found Disterhoft, whose speed and range proved to be a nightmare for Penn State’s taller post players.

“She’s kind of a tough matchup because she is playing the power forward for us,” Bluder said of the 6-foot freshman. “She can shoot threes and she can get to the rim. You may have somebody taller on her but we can pull them out away from the basket which makes them less effective.”

“They were driving and kicking,” said Penn State center Talia East. “We were just not getting out there quick enough when she was ready to shoot.”

Washington went to a zone and freshmen Kaliyah Mitchell and Peyton Whitted helped rally the defense. A 10-0 run gave the Lady Lions a 68-63 lead with more than four minutes remaining, but they would score just one more basket the rest of the game.

Iowa rallied to tie the score at 68 and regained the lead on a free throw from Theairra Taylor with 1:59 left. Ariel Edwards’ basket gave the Lady Lions the lead until Logic drove and found Doolittle wide open at the foul line.

“Beth called for it, which is good because she doesn’t do that,” Logic said. “She’s not the loudest player. I heard her. ... If that happens every time down the floor, we’re going to give Beth that shot. If she’s the only person to shoot the entire game and it’s that shot, we’re not going away from that.”

Edwards and Lucas each had shots on Penn State’s next possession, but missed. With about a 10-second differential on the shot clock, Iowa ran it down and got the ball to Disterhoft, who was fouled on a drive with one second left on the shot clock and 8.7 seconds on the game clock.

Disterhoft made both making sure Penn State needed a 3-pointer on its last possession. The Lady Lions got the ball to Lucas who dribbled up the right side then passed to Dara Taylor, who intially mishandled the pass before being fouled by the Hawkeyes with 1.5 seconds left. Needing to make the first end of the one-and-one and intentionally miss the second, Taylor did not make the first shot.

“This is just a really big win for us,” Bluder said. “This is our fourth Big Ten road win in a row. That’s hard to accomplish and to come into a No. 9 in the country and beat them on their home court is another whole task.”

Lucas led Penn State, but went 7 of 21 from the floor. Edwards added 16 points, while East had a career-high 14 to go along with 12 rebounds. Penn State was unable to capitalize on its huge size advantage as both teams had 30 points in the paint.

“Iowa did a really good job of packing it in the paint and making us shoot jump shots,” Edwards said. “It was hard to get the ball into the paint.”

Melissa Dixon scored 13 points and Theairra Taylor added 10 for the Hawkeyes, the top-scoring team in the Big Ten.

“Iowa is a great shooting team and we knew that coming into this,” Edwards said. “It is disappointing to lose on your homecourt and let the fans, the people supporting you and the coaches down. It’s a learning experience and we’re going to get back to it and get better from it.”

The Lady Lions return to action with a 2 p.m. game at Ohio State on Sunday.

Notes: Lucas moved to eighth on the Big Ten career scoring list with 2,299 points, passing Minnesota’s Lindsay Whalen (2,285). ... East’s double-double was her fourth of the season. ... Lucas made two 3-pointers to move into 17th place in NCAA history with 339. ... Bluder tied C. Vivian Stringer for all-time victories at Iowa with 268. ... Logic is the only player in the Big Ten to have a triple-double this season. ... Iowa improved to 3-4 against ranked opponents this season.

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