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Hawkeyes welcome playing at home

[ 0 ] January 14, 2014 |

Nine wins to one loss.

The Iowa women’s basketball team has had success at home, establishing a clear advantage within the friendly confines of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes (14,4, 2-2 Big Ten) are 9-1 at home this season, outscoring opponents by a game average of 82-64. That’s one of the best winning percentages in the conference (Nebraska is 10-1, Purdue is 5-0).

Having the advantage at home is not a theme from this season only, either. Iowa squares off against Michigan State on Thursday. Coach Lisa Bluder’s team has won the last four meetings against the Spartans in Iowa City.

At her weekly news conference Tuesday, Bluder noted the benefits of playing at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“It’s more of not having to travel, that’s a big deal,” Bluder said. “It takes a lot out of you. You’re playing in an unfamiliar surrounding.”

The crowd is also a positive of being on the home hardwood.

In Iowa’s 10 home games this season, Carver-Hawkeye Arena has seen an average of 3,880 fans.

“I think we have a good home-court advantage because of our fans. … I think our players will get inspired by them,” Bluder said. “I don’t think our fans intimidate the opponent that much, but our players feed off the energy our fans bring.”

Theairra Taylor had her best game of the season last week — in Carver-Hawkeye Arena — in a 78-71 win over Minnesota. On her bobblehead night, Taylor scored 20 points and had six rebounds.

As a fifth-year senior, Taylor is well versed in Iowa’s home success. Since the 2009-10 season, the Hawkeyes are 58-15 at home. She didn’t hesitate when asked about the importance of home-court advantage, especially in games like Thursday’s with Michigan State.

“It’s huge,” she said. “Going on the road is a challenge for us, and showing that we can win on the road is important. When we know we’re doing well at home, though, we have that immediate comfortability and confidence, and we go out and play our game.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball

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