Iowa City, IA -- In a classic Thursday night Big Ten match-up, the University of Iowa Women's basketball team hosted the Ohio State University Buckeyes in Iowa City. While the Buckeyes lead the Big Ten Conference with an 11-1 in conference record, the Hawkeyes have had a less than impressive season thus far.
Coming in at #10 in the conference, Iowa has posted a losing record of 5-7 in conference play heading into their match-up with Ohio State University.
With an overall record of 19-4 this season, OSU heads to Carver-Hawkeye Arena coming off a win over the Maryland Terrapins, who are currently ranked #5 in the nation. The Buckeyes 94-86 at home win on Monday, February 8, 2016, gave Ohio State the #1 spot in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes only loss in conference play coming from Northwestern University on January 14th.
Iowa's Ally Disterhoft led the Hawkeyes with 20 points against the Buckeyes. The Iowa City native also recorded 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal. However, despite Disterhoft's impressive play, there was not much the Black and Gold could have done to come back against the #7 team in the nation.
"Our rebounding was good, it's been good the last couple of games," Iowa's head coach Lisa Bluder said. One of those players who contributed to that rebounding tonight was Megan Gustafson.
The freshman had 11 rebounds against the Buckeyes and said, "The first half I wasn't shooting as well, then I tried to focus on rebounding," Gustafson said. "That is kind of what I have gone to when I'm not contributing as much as I can."
Coming off the bench, Hawkeyes guard, Alexa Kastanek, added 15 points for her team, but Iowa just could not pull out the game over the nationally ranked Buckeyes.
"It's just able to stop people, get the defensive stops. We have a lead at Indiana; we don't get defensive stops. All we have to do is get a defensive stop and win that game, and we don't. Obviously, the stops against Michigan State and Ohio State were few and far between, and we let (Ohio State) shoot 58 percent," said Bluder.
Heading into the 4th quarter, OSU led Iowa by 21 points, 83-62. As the more and more bench players entered the game for Ohio State in the final quarter, it was clear who would come out on top for the evening. Buckeyes forward, Shayla Cooper helped her team with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal in the first 30 minutes of play.
But Cooper was not the only player from Ohio State that contributed to the Buckeye win. Starters, Kelsey Mitchell and Ameryst Alston, added 20 points and 18 points respectively to the teams 15 point win over Iowa. Cooper finished the bought with 20 points, adding none in the fourth quarter, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block of the Buckeyes.
While the home team, Iowa, made a valid attempt to battle back in the 4th quarter, closing the gap to as few as 15 points and outshooting the Buckeyes 19-15 in the 4th quarter. Ohio State came out on top 94-79, adding their 12th win in the Big Ten conference and their 20th victory of the season.
This makes the Hawkeyes 15-10 on the season and 5-8 in the Big Ten conference. Bluder added, "That was a really tough one for us," ... "They were able to speed us up. I don't mind playing fast when we're taking shots we work on every day. Maybe we got going too fast and started losing our mental focus."