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Iowa women ready for challenge in Cancun

[ 0 ] November 27, 2013 |

Like any college student prepping to depart snowy Iowa for sunny Cancun, Samantha Logic was excited.

The junior point guard was eager for some warm weather, staying in a resort and swimming with dolphins.

However, what Logic was most excited about when it came to the Iowa women’s basketball team’s trip to Cancun, Mexico this week was winning games.

Logic and her Iowa teammates will have their first opportunity to do just that when the Hawkeyes face Southern California at 7:30 p.m. today in their first of three games at the Cancun Challenge.

“You really want to enjoy just being down there and have some fun, but once it gets to Wednesday, the day before a game, you have to be ready to kind of lock it up a little bit,” Logic said. “Once you start playing, it is game day now. That is what you are down there for.”

Logic and Iowa will wrap up a five-game stretch away from Iowa City with three games in three days in Cancun.

The Hawkeyes will face Boston College at 5 p.m. Friday and UNC-Wilimington at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s a busy week for us,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “We have four games this week and three more coming up against really good competition. This is going to be a real test for us with our legs and a lot of travel and a lot of games in a short amount of time.”

Iowa started its five-game road stretch Nov. 20 with a 90-87 loss at No. 16 Colorado.

The Hawkeyes rebounded with a 67-60 win over in-state foe Northern Iowa on Sunday before departing for Cancun on Monday.

Following a travel day on Monday, the Hawkeye schedule includes time at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya resort that sits on the coastline of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, a session swimming with dolphins and, most importantly, three games against quality opponents.

“We are excited about playing teams like USC, Boston College and North Carolina-Wilmington but we are also hoping to have a little fun as a team,” Bluder said. “We want to enjoy the opportunity to be in Cancun and enjoy the resort. We are going to do some things with the players like taking them to swim with the dolphins and things like that and those are fun experiences that I think bring your team closer together that they enjoy that will help us down the line.”

In its ninth year, the Cancun Challenge features eight teams from five different conferences with each team playing three games.

Iowa’s first test comes against a USC team that started the season 3-0 before dropping its last two games to ranked foes Oklahoma State and South Carolina.

The Hawkeyes will then take on ACC opponent Boston College, which enters the challenge 2-2, and UNC-Wilmington (1-4) from the Colonial Conference.

All of the games are played at the Hard Rock Hotel.

“The thing I like about these tournaments is you are playing really good competition on neutral courts,” Bluder said. “That is your best opportunity to get wins, is when you are on neutral courts against good people.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball

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