IOWA CITY, Iowa — Crystal Smith scored a career-high 26 points and Jamie Cavey added 13, leading Iowa to a 75-54 victory against Missouri on Saturday in the championship game of the Hawkeye Challenge.
Smith, a junior, had never before scored more than 10 points in a game. But she got away from Missouri all day, going 9-for-14 from the field with a 3-pointer and making all seven of her free throws.
Iowa went ahead to stay when Smith hit a jumper to break a 4-4 tie. Her basket started a 20-5 run that put the Hawkeyes up 24-9, and Missouri (1-1) never got closer than nine points after that.
“It’s tough to come back from a lead like that,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein said. “Our kids showed signs of playing well but we also showed our youth. We’re going to go through some growing pains this year”
LaToya Bond led Missouri with 14 points and Christelle N’Garsanet scored 10 points, had six rebounds and three blocks.
But N’Garsanet also had six of the Tigers’ 25 turnovers, and they shot only 31 percent in the second half.
Missouri reached the title game with a 68-61 victory against Northern Illinois on Friday.
Bond led the Tigers with a career high 25 points and Missouri blocked 11 shots.
On Saturday, Cavey finished 5-for-7 as the Hawkeyes (2-0) shot 53 percent and held Missouri (1-1) to 36 percent shooting.
Johanna Solverson had another strong game for Iowa with nine points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Solverson scored 16 points on 6-for-6 shooting in Friday’s 66-50 victory against Southern Illinois.