Perhaps a change of scenery will help the Iowa women’s basketball team as it tries to rebound from its worst performance of the season.
Iowa will face Ohio State on Sunday in Columbus, Ohio, and just three days after losing to Michigan State 88-72 in a game Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena that wasn’t as close as the final score would indicate. The Spartans never trailed and led by as many as 29 points in the second half.
Iowa coach Lisa Bluder was so disappointed with her team’s performance against Michigan State that she apologized to the fans who had paid only $1 for admission as part of a buck night promotion.
“We had 4,200 people here and did not give them a dollar’s worth of entertainment on buck night,” Bluder said at the beginning of her post-game news conference. “It was embarrassing to get down that much on our home court against, obviously, a good team. But that’s what the Big Ten is all about.”
A loss Sunday against the Buckeyes would drop Iowa (14-5, 2-3 Big Ten) two games below .500 in conference play. It’s widely believed that the Hawkeyes would have to finish at least .500 in conference play to solidify a seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
Ohio State will bring records of 12-8 overall and 2-2 in conference play into Sunday’s game, which will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
Iowa defeated Ohio State 77-71 in overtime in last season’s Big Ten opener on Jan. 3, 2013, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It was the only meeting between the two teams last season. Iowa had four players who scored in double figures against Ohio State last season, including Theairra Taylor and Samantha Logic, who also are two of the top scorers on this year’s Iowa team.
Ohio State’s two Big Ten losses came at home against Michigan on Jan. 5 and at Penn State this on Thursday by scores of 64-49 and 66-42, respectively. The Buckeyes crushed Indiana 70-51 on Jan. 11 in Bloomington, Ind., whereas Iowa lost to Indiana 86-84 on Jan. 2 in Bloomington.
Junior center Bethany Doolittle provided one of the few bright spots against Michigan State by scoring 21 points and blocking four shots.
“I guess it was something that was just open for me,” Doolittle said of her shots in the post.
Kevin McGuff is in his first season as the Ohio State coach and his 12th season overall as a Division I coach. He spent the last two seasons as the coach at the University of Washington and was at Xavier the previous nine seasons.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball