Having swept Indiana each of the last four seasons during the regular season, not to mention a successful history against it, the Iowa women’s basketball team didn’t read too much into the Hoosiers’ successful start this year.
The Hawkeyes (15-5, 3-3 Big Ten) opened Big Ten play on Jan. 2 against the Hoosiers, who went 13-0 in the non-conference season but notched several wins over lower-tier schools.
But things had changed in Bloomington, Ind.
Under second-year coach Curt Miller, the Cream and Crimson have completed a total transformation, including an 86-84 win in that Big Ten opener over the Hawkeyes. Despite winning the last 25 meetings over the Hoosiers in Iowa City, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder knows the matchup — including Saturday’s game at 6 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena — is different.
“I just have to write Indiana on the board and I think I’ll have (the players’) full attention,” Bluder said. “I don’t know if I had their full attention last time. Even though they were 13-0, we didn’t realize how good of a basketball team they were, just because of their history.
“There’s no sneaking up anymore.”
Iowa had its mid-week bye this week, beating Ohio State 81-74 last weekend. The victory was the first in 11 tries for Bluder in Columbus, Ohio.
While the team enjoyed its success on the road, Saturday’s contest is another opportunity to climb up in the Big Ten standings. The Hoosiers (15-4, 2-4) are currently a game behind the Hawkeyes, plus Bluder’s squad is 9-2 this season in Carver-Hawkeye.
Indiana relies much on 3-point shooting for its 75 points per game, as the Hoosiers have shot 34.8 percent from beyond the arc this season.
Iowa’s Samantha Logic said outside shooing hurt the Black and Gold in their first encounter three-plus weeks ago.
“That’s how teams get back into games, or get ahead in games,” Logic said of the 3-pointer. “It’s a big tool, especially for a team like Indiana. They like to shoot the 3 and they’re good at it. We want to contest everything that we can.”
Indiana has already notched the most wins in a season since the 2008-09 campaign and has won as many Big Ten games as it did all of last season.
That’s more than enough for Bluder to tell the team.
“Before, (Indiana was) a little downtrodden,” she said. “With a new coaching staff coming in, it really helps. They believe they can win now. When you go 13-0 in the non-conference, you believe you can win. Before, they didn’t really have that belief.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball