At halftime, IU’s unprecedented home record of 9-0 seemed in serious jeopardy.
Iowa outscored IU 22-8 in the second quarter in what IU Coach Teri Moren called the most painful quarter her team has played all season.
The Hoosiers, who committed eight turnovers in the second frame alone, looked out-of-sync going into halftime. IU trailed Iowa, 38-23 at the break.
Junior guard Karlee McBride resurrected the Hoosier cause with under eight minutes to play.The sharpshooter drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Iowa lead to 62-57 and swipe the momentum from the Hawkeyes.
McBride’s 3-pointers would set up a 12-5 run to give IU its first lead since the first quarter — a lead that would not be given up as the Hoosiers defeated the Hawkeyes 79-74 Thursday night.
“Well, that was a lot of fun,” Moren said. “Not our finest first half of basketball, but give our kids credit for chipping away. Once we saw the ball go in the net, everything changed for us. I’m really proud of how they handled the second half. They have a tremendous amount of resilience.”
Sophomore guard Tyra Buss drove for the game-winning layup with 29 seconds remaining after a timeout from Moren.
The layup gave the Hoosiers a 76-74 lead before the Hawkeyes turned the ball over on the ensuing possession.
IU’s victory marked a 10-0 record at home to the season, a start that is the program’s best on record.
Sophomore forward Amanda Cahill had a career-high night, as she tallied 24 points and eight rebounds in the winning effort. Cahill carried the majority of the Hoosiers’ weight before fouling out with 3:48 remaining. The 6-foot-2 Ohio native was the only IU player in double-figure scoring until the fourth quarter.
Buss picked up right where Cahill left off. Buss, who scored just two points in a quiet first half, hit three go-ahead shots late in the fourth quarter to lift IU to victory. The 5-foot-8 point guard finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
“We’re just really excited,” Buss said. “We dug a hole in the first half and were down 17 in the third quarter before we finally started to make a run. The fact that we can come back like that and win a game on our home floor to stay undefeated is good for us.”
While Buss and Cahill have carried the Hoosiers in the majority of their games this season, junior center Jenn Anderson has also been consistently productive for Moren’s group as of late.
At 6-foot-3, Anderson also had a career-high night in scoring with 18 points and six rebounds. She has scored in double figures four times in conference play.
Anderson was playing Thursday with a fractured finger, as well as getting banged up in Saturday’s loss to Maryland. Moren said Anderson missed four days of practice leading up to the Iowa game.
“She was huge,” Moren said. “She had 18, heck she probably should have had 30. We got her back yesterday with no contact and I thought she showed up big, especially when we needed her in the second half.”
IU will have a short turnaround this weekend as they will face Nebraska at home Sunday. With the win, IU remained in seventh place in the Big Ten at 6-5. The Huskers are a game ahead of the Hoosiers in the Big Ten standings at 7-4 in conference play.
“The start to that game on Sunday is going to be really important,” Moren said. “We can’t get down to a Nebraska team that is 7-4 in the league right now. These games at home are precious and we have to take advantage.”