Disterhoft makes instant impact for Iowa women

COLUMBUS, Ohio – True freshman Ally Disterhoft turned her first career start into her first double-double, leading the Iowa women’s basketball team to its first win at Ohio State since 1998.

Disterhoft tallied team-highs of 24 points and 10 rebounds as the Hawkeyes held off Ohio State 81-74 in Big Ten Conference play Sunday afternoon at Value City Arena.

Iowa had five players score in double figures, though none more prominent than the Iowa City native. Disterhoft scored 14 points in the first half and then made all six of her free-throw attempts in the final 28 seconds to keep the Buckeyes’ comeback at bay.

“That one worked out pretty well,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said of inserting Disterhoft into the starting lineup. “Ally has been playing a whole bunch of minutes throughout the year but we felt like we needed a little more offensive firepower in the starting lineup and she came through.”

The Hawkeyes (15-5, 3-3) maintained a lead that hovered around 10 for most of the second half until Ohio State (12-9, 2-3) made a 10-2 run that slimmed the gap to 66-64 with 7:26 to play.

But Iowa never relinquished the lead, getting back-to-back buckets from Bethany Doolittle followed by a 3-pointer from Melissa Dixon to expand the advantage back to seven.

Disterhoft eventually iced the win from the free-throw line, ending the Hawkeyes’ 11-game losing skid in Columbus.

“That’s what makes this win special. We’re on the road, we took it,” said Bluder. “They kept coming back at us and we withstood their challenges.”

Disterhoft’s 14 first-half points came on 4-of-6 shooting from the field, including consecutive 3-pointers, and a 4-of-4 performance at the charity stripe.

Melissa Dixon added 13 of her 16 points in the first half, and Doolittle had 10 of her 14 before the break. Theairra Taylor added 11 points, Alexa Kastanek came off the bench for 10 points, and Sam Logic finished with six points, five assists and two steals.

Ameryst Alston shot 11-of-19 from the field on her way to a team-leading 24 points for Ohio State. Martina Ellerbe added 17 points and Raven Ferguson had 11 off the bench for the Buckeyes, who lost for the third time in their last four games.

Iowa, winners of three of its last four, gets a rematch of its Big Ten opener against Indiana its next time out. The Hawkeyes host the Hoosiers at 6 p.m. on Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, trying to avenge an 86-84 loss on Jan. 2.