Notre Dame wears Hawks down

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Ting Xuan Tan

Iowa’s no. 2 Ally Disterhoft watches as her teammates and opposing team players scramble to get the rebound of her free-throw during a basketball match at the Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Notre Dame defeated Iowa 73-58. (The Daily Iowan/Ting Xuan Tan)

By James Kay 

 [email protected]

The Hawkeye women’s basketball team (5-3) battled hard against No. 1 Notre Dame before falling, 73-58, to the Fighting Irish Wednesday night in Carver-Hawkeye arena.

Senior captain Ally Disterhoft led the charge with 18 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Sophomore Meghan Gustafson recorded her fourth double-double of the season (16 points and 11 rebounds) against a formidable Notre Dame defense.

“I thought we fought hard and battled back from a deficit in an overall good game,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We really challenged them at halftime to hit the boards and make open shots, so I am proud of the team for that.”

The Hawkeyes stumbled out of the gate early on with two quick turnovers by Kathleen Doyle. Disterhoft hit an open 3 to get Iowa’s first points on the board to make it 5-3.

It didn’t get much better for the Hawkeyes, and Notre Dame began running away with the game for most of the quarter.

With 3:34 remaining, the Hawkeyes were down 21-7. The Hawkeyes went on an 8-2 run after that, highlighted by 2 3-pointers from Disterhoft. The Hawkeyes ended the quarter trailing 23-15.

The Hawkeyes hung with the No. 1 team in the country after that, as freshman Kathleen Doyle found Disterhoft for an open 3 to decrease the deficit to 38-30 with 2:04 left in the half.

The teams traded turnovers until sophomore Tania Davis flung a half-court pass to Disterhoft, who found Gustafson for a wide open 2-point bucket with 34 seconds remaining.

The Hawkeyes entered halftime trailing, 41-33.

After committing 15 turnovers in the first half, the Hawkeyes buckled down in the second.

They came out of the locker room scoring the first six points of the half to cut Notre Dame’s lead to 43-39. Both teams went back and forth before Doyle found junior Chase Coley for a floating lay-up after miscommunication by the Irish defense.

With the game at 50-48, Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw called a time-out.

Things went south for the Hawkeyes quickly out of the break, and the Irish went on a 7-1 run to close out the quarter.

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The Hawkeyes were unable to pull off the upset; they eventually wore out and scored only 9 points in the fourth quarter. Iowa did out-rebound Notre Dame, the first time a team has done that against the Fighting Irish this season.

The Hawkeyes still have some holes to fill; they shot 21 percent from behind the arc, while shooting a meager 37 percent from the stripe.

“It’s just we’ve got to hit free throws,” Bluder said.

“Shooting 40 percent from the free-throw line, you think what a difference mentally that would have made had we had six, seven, eight more free throws, makes it a totally different game at the end.”

The Hawkeyes will stay take on Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. Dec. 4 in Carver-Hawkeye.

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