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Bench players help Hawkeyes bounce Purdue

[ 0 ] March 7, 2014 |

INDIANAPOLIS — For the 31st straight game, Iowa had three or more players score in double figures.

All five of Iowa’s starters had at least 12 points in the Hawkeyes 87-80 win over Purdue in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

However, it was a pair of bench players that scored a combined eight points that came up big for the Hawkeyes.

Sophomores Claire Till and Kali Peschel each came off the bench to score four points and provide critically effective minutes while the Hawkeyes battled foul trouble for the second straight game.

“They were big,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “That’s what’s been so nice, is the development of our bench in the last month or so.”

Till and Peschel combined for eight rebounds and made 3-of-4 of foul field goal attempts Friday while committing one turnover in a combined 28 minutes of action.

Peschel twice stopped 4-0 Purdue runs late in the first half with a jumper and a pair of free throws, and Till’s basket with 4:50 left trimmed the Purdue lead to 70-67.

“That is a great thing that our team has is the confidence for our bench players to come in and take our spots,” Doolittle said. “Claire and Kali both did a lot of things to help our team today.”

The 6-foot-1 Peschel finished with four points and five rebounds in 13 minutes, while the 6-foot-0 Till added four points and three rebounds.

“We know that our job is to go in there and get boards, play good defense and hit the open shot, and I think that is something that our bench is really good at,” Peschel said. “Anyone at any time can come in off the bench and we are all so close that we trust anyone to come in and do well.”

The eight combined rebounds from Peschel and Till helped the Hawkeyes hold a 36-34 rebounding edge over Purdue.

“Rebounding is something that we have really been stressing this entire year,” Till said. “It’s maybe not a strength but when we can go out and beat a team like Purdue in rebounding it’s a great feeling.”

Also:

Friday’s win was the fifth time this season all five Iowa starters have scored in double figures.

Ohio State entered the Big Ten Tournament last in scoring at 64.6 points per game. The Buckeyes are averaging 92.5 points per game in their two tournament wins.

Ohio State sophomore Ameryst Alston is averaging 31.5 points, six assists and three rebounds in the Buckeyes’ two tournament wins. The 5-foot-9 Alston had 33 points on 12-of-15 shooting and nine assists in Ohio State’s 99-82 upset of Penn State.

Penn State’s loss marks the first time a No. 1 seed has failed to advance to the semifinals since 2008.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball

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