Iowa freshman guard Ally Disterhoft showed no timidity when facing the ninth-ranked team in the country.
“She was very aggressive,” said Penn State head coach Coquese Washington. “[Disterhoft] shoots the ball well.”
Despite facing the stingiest defense in the Big Ten when it comes to field-goal percentage, Disterhoft sank 8-of-9 field goal attempts and scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Iowa Hawkeyes to a 73-70 upset win over the Penn State Lady Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center on Thursday night.
Disterhoft was sent to the line with nine seconds left to play and converted both attempts to give the Hawkeyes a 73-70 lead. A last-ditch attempt to throw up a shot by Penn State’s Dara Taylor was thwarted after Iowa successfully fouled her preemptively; Taylor missed the front end of a one-and-one to seal the victory for the Hawkeyes.
The Lady Lions played Iowa neck-and-neck for the entire first half, as neither team was able to jump out a lead greater than five. A Claire Till jumper gave Iowa a 40-35 lead with two minutes left to play in the half, but Penn State guard Maggie Lucas scored five straight points – including a last-second 3-pointer – to knot the game at 40 at the break.
Iowa kicked off the second half with a 12-4 run to take the largest lead of the game at eight points, but Penn State responded with a 12-4 run of its own to tie the game up at 56 with just under 12 minutes left to play. The Hawkeyes would build their lead back to five but the Lady Lions came storming back to take a 64-63 lead with the clock reading 5:26.
Penn State pushed its lead to five at the 4:26 mark, but Iowa quickly erased that deficit to establish the eighth tie of the game at 68-68. The lead would then swap hands three times, with the last change coming off of a free-throw line jumper by Iowa center Bethany Doolittle.
That bucket gave Iowa a 71-70 lead, and it would shut down the Lady Lions for the rest of the way to complete the upset.
Scoring leader Disterhoft was not the Hawkeyes’ only star, as junior Samantha Logic tallied 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists on her way to her second triple-double on the season.
“It’s unbelievable having a point guard like that, that can contribute in so many ways,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder.
Lucas led the Lady Lions with 21 points on 7-of-21 shooting. Forward Talia East recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 12 rebounds and a career-best 14 points.
With the win, Iowa (18-6, 6-4) snapped a six-game conference winning streak by the Lady Lions (17-5, 8-2). Penn State returns to action at Ohio State on Sunday. The game tips off at 2 p.m. in Columbus.