Ally Disterhoft wasn’t perfect in Iowa’s 73-70 upset win at No. 9 Penn State on Thursday.
Though Disterhoft’s performance against the Nittany Lions certainly wasn’t far from perfection.
Disterhoft missed just one shot Thursday as the freshman notched the best game of her young career in the Hawkeyes’ biggest win of the year.
The West High graduate was 8-of-9 from the field including 3-of-3 from 3-point range and made all five of her free throws while matching her career high with 24 points as Iowa beat a top-10 team for the first time since 2011.
And the one miss?
“It was a layup, I should have made it,” Disterhoft laughed. “It was a shot that should have gone in.”
Disterhoft was at her best with the game on the line.
The 6-foot-0 freshman hit a 3-pointer with 3:32 left to tie the game at 68 and helped seal the win with a pair of free throws with eight seconds left that made the score 73-70.
“For her to go and miss one shot the entire game 8-for-9, perfect from 3-point range, perfect from the line and not only that — defend against people much bigger and stronger than her and hit a big 3 to tie the game up in the last four minutes of the game and go to the free-throw line and bury them both — that is pretty impressive,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “That’s pretty impressive for a senior to do that let alone a freshman to do that.”
Iowa hasn’t been perfect since Disterhoft was inserted into the starting lineup, but the Hawkeyes haven’t been far from it.
The Hawkeyes are 4-1 since Disterhoft entered the starting line up at Ohio State on Jan. 19 and will try to build on that when they host Northwestern (14-9, 4-6) today at 6 p.m.
“Obviously since she has been put in the starting lineup she has been doing some special things,” Bluder said. “I think she is averaging over 17 points per game since she has been in the starting lineup, which really to me, ‘Why didn’t I have her in there sooner?’ That’s what everyone is saying to me right now, but Ally went in at the right time in my opinion. She needed some time to grow, she’s done a great job.”
Disterhoft is averaging 13.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in her first collegiate season but has been even more productive since joining the starting lineup.
In her five games as a starter Disterhoft is averaging 17.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and is shooting 60 percent from the floor and is 9-of-15 from 3-point range.
“It’s really great just to know that your team and your coaches have a lot of confidence in you,” Disterhoft said. “It makes it easier to play really loose out there and have that trust in ourselves, but we all trust each other, we all believe in each other and I think when you have that in a team you are going to be able to do some great things.”
Disterhoft will try to continue her efficient play as a starter tonight as Iowa seeks to avenge a home loss to Northwestern last year.
Iowa defeated the Wildcats twice last season in Evanston, but Iowa fell in the Big Ten tournament to Northwestern 67-65 in Iowa City.
“We talked about it in the locker room at Penn State. I didn’t want to put a damper on the celebration, but I had to bring up the fact that we beat Northwestern two out of three times last year, but the one time that they got us was on our home floor,” Bluder said. “We need to remember that going into this game, and we need to use that as fuel for the fire.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball