Everybody on the IU women’s basketball team was chasing history during their game at Iowa on Saturday.
However, senior guard Tyra Buss was the only Hoosier to leave Carver-Hawkeye Arena as a record-breaker.
Coming into Saturday’s contest, Buss had 533 career assists and was just one away from breaking yet another IU all-time record. When she found senior forward Amanda Cahill for a 3-pointer midway through the second quarter, she surpassed Tisha Hill, who had held the previous record since 1992.
Buss added to her record-breaking day later in the quarter. With her nine first half points, she became the first IU women’s basketball player to score 600 points in three straight seasons.
But those weren’t quite the records Buss and the rest of her team were focused on most.
After rattling off eight straight wins, IU came in looking for a program-record ninth consecutive victory. Yet, their hopes of breaking that record were shattered after a dominant performance from the Hawkeyes in Iowa’s 75-62 win.
Iowa jumped on the Hoosiers right from the start after a disastrous shooting performance from IU. After the first quarter, the Hoosiers found themselves already trailing the Hawkeyes 20-8 after shooting just 2-13 from the field while Iowa connected on nine of their first 13. The slow start set the tone for the rest of the game for IU on their way to a 33 percent overall shooting performance on the day.
“It seemed like everybody was trying to make the home run play instead of doing what we’ve been doing to make the game easier by sharing the ball and screening for each other,” IU Coach Teri Moren said.
The Hoosiers showed some life to open the second quarter by going on an 11-4 run to open the period to get the Iowa lead down to 24-19 with less than six minutes before halftime. However, the Hawkeyes had answers for anything IU tried to do. They answered with a 9-0 run of their own. By the time the Hoosiers were able to stop the bleeding and attempt to chip away at the lead, they went cold yet again. Iowa closed out the half on another 7-0 run, giving them a 42-24 lead heading into halftime.
“If it would have been a closer game at halftime, I think it would have been a much closer game down the stretch,” Moren said. “We just needed to hit a few more shots.”
The Hawkeyes leaned on junior forward Megan Gustafson as IU could find no way to handle her in the post. Gustafson, who came in as the nation’s leading scorer and fifth-leading rebounder, had a double-double by halftime after scoring 18 points on 8-10 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds.
“We just dug ourselves too big of a hole in the first half,” Moren said. “A lot of that had to do with them scoring the ball but also us not doing a very good job on Gustafson.”
In the third, despite Iowa struggling from the field, IU still couldn’t make up any ground. The Hoosiers still trailed 53-36 heading into the final frame after a stingy Hawkeye defense held IU to just 12 points in the quarter. They also held Buss and Cahill, IU’s two leading scorers, scoreless for the entire 10 minutes of the third.
From there, Iowa was able to close it out despite a few late 3-pointers from IU. Even when the Hoosiers tried to double down in the post on defense, Gustafson proved to be too much of a force. She finished with 36 points on 15-21 shooting along with 15 rebounds and two blocks. She also anchored an Iowa offense that outscored IU 36-16 in the paint and helped the Hawkeyes easily win the rebounding battle at 43-31.
For IU, Cahill led the way with 14 points, eight rebounds, shooting 4-8 from behind the three-point arc after hitting some big outside shots in the fourth quarter. Buss finished with 12 points and seven assists of her own, while freshmen guards Jaelynn Penn, Bendu Yeaney and Keyanna Warthen combined for 31 of the Hoosiers’ 62 points as well.
“It’s disappointing that we couldn’t do a better job on Gustafson,” Moren said. “But we just needed to score the ball a little better in order to give ourselves a chance to win.”
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