Washington State eliminates Hawkeyes

Women's basketball: Bluder's 700th win on hold until next season

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IOWA CITY — The party was crashed. The season is over.

An aggressive, physical Washington State outfit pushed the Iowa Hawkeyes out of the WNIT Sunday afternoon, 74-66, in a quarterfinal before a lively crowd of 5,146 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“Their defense really disrupted us,” said Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder, whose bid for career victory No. 700 will have to wait until next season.

“We had a big crowd that came out and supported us, but we didn’t give them a lot to cheer about after the first quarter.”

The Hawkeyes bowed out at 20-14. And thus ended the career of Ally Disterhoft, whose 16 points Sunday gave her a final tally of 2,102.

Disterhoft’s eyes were moist in the postgame press conference, but her voice remained firm and composed.

“It was one of those games you have to give them credit for their defensive effort,” she said. “It’s tough ... this program has given me so much for the past four years.

“I’m going to miss it, but I’m thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had.”

Washington State (16-19) advances to the semifinal round at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Georgia Tech (21-14).

The Cougars took the lead late in the second quarter, and stayed in front the rest of the way.

Iowa didn’t shoot well enough to make a game-changing charge, and saw an eight-game home winning streak come to an end. The Hawkeyes shot 37 percent from the floor, and missed all 13 of their 3-point tries in the second half.

“They rotated really well, both in their (man-to-man) and zone defense,” said Disterhoft, who shot 2 of 11 from the field in her finale.

Iowa had embraced the WNIT experience the past two weeks, eliminating Missouri State, South Dakota and Colorado in the first three rounds in a festive atmosphere at Carver.

Based on record, the Cougars appeared to be the Hawkeyes’ least formidable postseason test yet.

They weren’t.

Iowa made its only sustained run of the game early, a 12-0 surge that put the Hawkeyes in front, 20-13.

But Iowa went scoreless for more than seven minutes, with 11 consecutive empty possessions.

Caila Hailey’s putback put Washington State in front, 21-20, then it was back and forth for the rest of the half. The Cougars ended the half with an 8-2 run and took a 34-31 lead into the locker room.

Twice early in the third quarter, the Hawkeyes got within a point. But the Cougars went on a 17-8 surge for a 53-44 lead early in the fourth period.

Alexa Kastanek’s free throw got the Hawkeyes within 62-58 with 2:34 to go, then the Cougars put it away at the foul line.

Alexys Swedlund led the winners with 20 points. Ivana Kmetovska tallied 14.

Pinepoli Pavloppilou (13 points, 11 rebounds) and Hailey (10 and 12) both posted double-doubles.

Washington State grabbed 17 offensive rebounds that led to a 16-7 advantage in second-chance points.

Megan Gustafson assembled her 18th double-double of the season — 19 points, 15 rebounds — but it was a challenge against Washington State’s big bodies inside.

“I think we handled it better in the second half,” she said. “We kept fighting.”

Freshman point guard Kathleen Doyle registered 11 points and eight assists.

WASHINGTON STATE 74, IOWA 66

WNIT Quarterfinal, at Iowa City

WASHINGTON STATE (74): Ivana Kmetovska 6-11 2-6 14, Maria Kostourkova 2-7 0-0 4, Caila Hailey 3-10 4-10 10, Pinelopi Pavlopoulou 5-14 2-2 13, Alexys Swedlund 5-15 8-10 20, Krystle McKenzie 1-1 0-0 3, Kayla Washington 4-5 0-0 8, Johanna Muzet 1-3 0-0 2, Nike McClure 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-68 16-28 74.

IOWA (66): Megan Gustafson 8-13 3-6 19, Ally Disterhoft 2-11 11-14 16, Makenzie Meyer 1-5 0-0 3, Kathleen Doyle 5-13 0-0 11, Bre Cera 1-5 0-2 3, Alexa Kastanek 0-3 1-2 1, Chase Coley 3-5 2-3 8, Hannah Stewart 2-4 1-2 5, Amanda Ollinger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-59 18-29 66.

Halftime: WSU 34, Iowa 31. 3-point goals: WSU 4-20 (Hailey 0-2, Pavlopoulou 1-7, Swedlund 2-8, McKenzie 1-1, Muzet 0-2), Iowa 4-23 (Disterhoft 1-5, Meyer 1-5, Doyle 1-5, Cera 1-4, Kastanek 0-3, Coley 0-1). Team fouls: WSU 26, Iowa 24. Fouled out: Kostourkova, Washington, McClure, Doyle. Rebounds: WSU 45 (Hailey 12), Iowa 42 (Gustafson 15). Assists: WSU 15 (Hailey 5), Iowa 16 (Doyle 8). Steals: WSU 10 (Hailey 3), Iowa 5 (Doyle 2). Turnovers: WSU 9, Iowa 16.

Attendance: 5,146.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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