DES MOINES - A barrage of three-point field goals, four coming from senior Wendy Ausdmore, helped the University of Iowa women's basketball team dominate in-state rival Drake, 71-53, inside the Knapp Center on Saturday afternoon. With the victory, Iowa (7-4 overall) completed a sweep of all Division I in-state basketball opponents to claim the mythical state championship.
"We're really happy to reach the goal of being the best team in the state this year," UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. "I'm also probably just as happy that we got a convincing road win, because that was something we needed to get before going into the Big Ten and especially since we open up at Wisconsin."
The Hawkeyes have now won seven consecutive games against Drake, including the last four in Des Moines.
"It means a lot [to beat all three Iowa schools]," UI senior Wendy Ausdemore said. "We haven't been able to do it yet and we finally get it here. Just to beat all three Iowa schools, they are all three really great teams, really great schools. But just to be able to come out on top of all of three really makes Iowa proud."
The Hawkeyes finished 28 of 59 (47.5 percent) from the floor and 7 of 20 (35 percent) from deep range. Defense provided a big lift and forced Drake to turn the ball over 20 times.
Four Hawkeyes finished in double-figures. Ausdemore led the way scoring a game high 20 points on 4 of 6 shooting from three-point range and was 7 of 11 from the floor. Junior JoAnn Hamlin had 14, senior Kristi Smith scored 12 and sophomore Kachine Alexander had 11 points.
"I'm extremely happy that Wendy Ausdemore had a good offensive performance," Bluder said. "I thought JoAnn Hamlin played well for us again and Kachine Alexander was her usual steady-eddy self, had eight rebounds for us and crashed the boards hard. It was a good all-around balanced performance with four people in double-figures."
"Every time that first one goes down it always feels good," said Ausdemore, who also had four steals. "I have been struggling a little bit in practice with my shot but I try not to think about it too much and just play."
Drake held a 48-32 advantage in rebounds and the Bulldogs pulled down 25 on the offensive end. Alexander grabbed eight rebounds to lead Iowa. Alexander and Smith both handed out five assists and Hamlin and Skouby both blocked five shots.