Iowa coach Lisa Bluder still enjoys playing the Missouri Valley Conference.
The last scheduled MVC matchup for Iowa (8-3) is tonight against Missouri State (6-3) at 5:30 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game is part of a women-men double-header. The Hawkeye men tip off at 8:06 p.m.
Bluder is 3-0 against MVC teams this season, having already taken down Illinois State (74-64), Northern Iowa (68-46) and Drake (82-65). But the Lady Bears are the defending MVC champions.
Missouri State is led by 6-foot-1 forward Christiana Shorter, the MVC leader in FG percentage (57 percent). She is averaging 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
The Lady Bears have won five of their last six games and are coming off an 83-60 win over Arkansas State in which they turned 18 turnovers into 24 points.
Iowa had a serious turnover problem a few weeks ago but only averaged 10.6 turnovers per game over its past three contests — wins over UNI, Iowa State and Drake.
“Turnovers and a better free-throw percentage,” junior Thearria Taylor said. “Those are small things we can control. We’ve been working on them the last couple of days.”
Iowa is shooting 75.1 percent from the foul line (and ranks 32nd in the country). It’s strong, but Iowa shot nearly 80 percent last season.
Bluder said after the Drake game that Iowa “didn’t box out that well” and they were beat on the boards 32 to 31. On the season, Iowa has a plus-1.2 rebounding margin.
This is the final tune-up.
Iowa travels to the San Diego Surf ’N’ Slam Classic and takes on No. 20 Texas and either Central Michigan or San Diego after Christmas, but things get real serious when Iowa opens Big Ten play by hosting Ohio State at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 3.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball