SPORTS

Career bests by Kastanek, Coley lift Iowa

Women's basketball: Hawkeyes pass their first in-state test, 80-65 over UNI

CEDAR FALLS — Alexa Kastanek didn’t get much defensive attention, and took it personally.

“As a player, it’s kind of a slap in the face,” she said. “You want to prove that they can’t do that kind of thing.”

Kastanek made all eight of her field-goal attempts in a 22-point effort, and Chase Coley posted career-highs in just about every statistical category imaginable as 23rd-ranked Iowa downed Northern Iowa, 80-65, in a non-conference women’s basketball game in front of 2,384 Sunday afternoon at the McLeod Center.

“Everybody kind of expected that we would get scoring from Ally (Disterhoft) and Whitney (Jennings), and nobody else,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said after the Hawkeyes (4-0) put forth their best effort of the season. “The other kids just hadn’t had their opportunity yet.”

A junior from Lincoln, Neb., who had averaged 3.3 points per game throughout her first two seasons, Kastanek has posted double-figure scoring efforts in three straight games. Her 13-point display in Iowa’s overtime win over Western Illinois on Thursday was her previous career best.

“I think the biggest difference is I’m getting open shots, and I’m not taking contested shots,” she said. “I’m there for the pitch.”

Among Kastanek’s eight buckets were four 3-pointers.

“She was phenomenal,” said UNI Coach Tanya Warren. “Some kids we decided to play off, they hit some big shots.”

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Coley was another one: “We were willing to give her the 12- to 15-foot shot,” Warren said. The sophomore post contributed career bests in points (16), rebounds (14), assists (five), blocks (four) and minutes (30).

“I like it when people sag off me,” Coley said. “I think I’m a little more agile than most big girls, and I like to use that to my advantage.”

Kastanek’s first basket was a 3-pointer, which gave the Hawkeyes the lead for good at 9-6. It was 24-15 by the end of the first quarter, grew as large as 14 points in the second quarter and stood at 48-36 at halftime.

UNI (2-1) got as close as 51-43 on one of Amber Sorenson’s seven 3-pointers, but the Hawkeyes opened the fourth quarter with a 7-0 run for a 70-51 lead.

Sorenson led the Panthers with 23 points. Madison Weekly, a junior and a former Benton Community standout, added 17.

The Panthers had allowed 41 points per game through their first two contests, but Iowa had that many with nearly 2 minutes left in the first half.

A below-average rebounding team last year, the Hawkeyes outrebounded their fourth straight opponent to start the season. The margin Sunday was 50-32.

“Coaches emphasize rebounding in every drill,” Coley said. “Every drill, there’s something about boxing out and crashing.”

Ally Disterhoft added 15 points for the Hawkeyes.

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Iowa will play three games in three days at the Lone Star Showcase in Austin, Texas, starting with Wright State on Thursday. The Panthers face Georgia Tech in their opener at the Cancun Challenge on Thursday.

IOWA 80, NORTHERN IOWA 65

At Cedar Falls

IOWA (80): Alexa Kastanek 8-8 2-5 22, Ally Disterhoft 5-9 5-6 15, Chase Coley 8-13 0-0 16, Whitney Jennings 3-8 0-0 8, Kali Peschel 2-6 2-2 6, Claire Till 0-0 0-0 0, Megan Gustafson 1-2 1-2 3, Tania Davis 1-7 2-2 4, Hannah Stewart 0-0 1-2 1, Christina Buttenham 1-4 0-0 3, Tagyn Larson 0-0 0-0 0, Carly Mohns 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 30-60 13-19 80.

NORTHERN IOWA (65): Madison Weekly 5-15 3-4 17, Amber Sorenson 7-14 2-2 23, Ellie Herzberg 0-4 0-0 0, Sharnae Lamar 1-9 3-4 5, Jen Keitel 1-7 0-0 2, Lauren Parker 0-0 0-0 0, Angie Davison 1-4 1-2 4, Hannah Schonhardt 0-3 1-2 1, Mikaela Morgan 3-6 0-3 7, Taylor Hagen 2-3 2-3 6. Totals 20-65 12-20 65

Halftime: Iowa 48, UNI 36; 3-point goals: Iowa 7-19 (Kastanek 4-4, Disterhoft 0-2, Jennings 2-5, Peschel 0-1, Davis 0-2, Buttenham 1-3, Mohns 0-2), UNI 13-36 (Weekly 4-10, Sorenson 7-11, Herzberg 0-1), Lamar 0-3, Keitel 0-3, Davison 1-4, Schonhardt 0-1, Morgan 1-3); Team fouls: Iowa 24, UNI 21; Fouled out: none; Rebounds: Iowa 50 (Coley 14), UNI 32 (Morgan 11); Assists: Iowa 17 (Disterhoft, Coley 5), UNI 13 (Lamar 6); Steals: Iowa 5 (five with 1), UNI 10 (Lamar 5); Turnovers: Iowa 19, UNI 11.

Attendance: 2,384.

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

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