Perhaps the lead was too comfortable for their liking.
Maybe they were just sluggish at times.
Whatever it was, the Iowa women’s basketball team ultimately got the result they wanted in a 88-62 win over North Dakota on Saturday afternoon in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Multiple runs in the second half gave UND a glimmer of hope, but the Hawkeyes were able to maintain their sizeable lead after a strong finish to the first half.
Trailing 24-20 with 6:49 remaining in the first period, the Hawkeyes (12-2 overall) went in to the break on a 25-4 run and a commanding 45-28 lead. Up by as many as 29 early in the second, UND narrowed the gap to 12 points at one stage, but coach Lisa Bluder’s team wiped up the mistakes to seal the victory.
“We were on our way to a great game,” Bluder said. “We got kind of stagnant, we looked like the game was over at one point. Our defense created our offense. When we get our fast break going, our team is hard to defend.”
Strong play from veterans Theairra Taylor and Samantha Logic down the stretch aided the Hawkeyes. Taylor finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Logic recorded 21 points, pulled down seven rebounds, and dished out eight assists.
Logic went 4-of-4 from the field and 7-of-10 from the free-throw line in the final 20 minutes of play.
“Sam is so good at attacking the basket and finding her teammates open for shots if they take away her drive (to the basket),” Bluder said.
North Dakota led 13-4 to begin the game, but Iowa eventually took charge.
Bluder’s bunch started the contest an abysmal 9-of-23 shooting, but made eight of their final 10 shots. The black and gold didn’t miss a shot in the final four minutes of the first half, and missed just three in the final seven.
Iowa overcame several lulls throughout the day, in part because of its balance within the lineup. The Hawkeyes’ eight-player rotation produced not only with an offensive attack to end both halves but also got key stops on defense to upend UND.
Six players scored in double figures: Taylor, Logic, Melissa Dixon (13), Ally Disterhoft (12), Bethany Doolittle (12) and Alexa Kastanek (11). Additionally, five players recorded three rebounds or more and three players added two steals or more.
“We had 25 or 26 minutes of great basketball,” Logic said. “We just have to extend that out to 40.”
With the victory, Iowa matches its highest win total prior to the start of conference action under Bluder. The 2010-11 Hawkeyes went 12-1 in non-conference play. Iowa opens the Big Ten schedule against Indiana on Thursday.
“I love the balance that we have on our team (as we enter Big Ten play),” Bluder said. “Any player can hurt you on any night, and it makes us really hard to guard.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball