Melissa Dixon scored 24 points, Sam Logic nearly posted her second straight triple-double and Theairra Taylor made big plays down the stretch, but none of that was the story in Iowa’s 90-84 win over Northwestern on Monday.
Monday night was all about Lisa Bluder making history.
Iowa coach Lisa Bluder became the all-time winningest basketball coach at Iowa, surpassing Vivian Stringer and former men’s coach Tom Davis with the 270th win of her career.
Bluder, who is one of 13 active Division I coaches with 600 or more wins, is 270-163 all time in her 14 years at Iowa.
“When I came here 14 years ago, I was just thankful that Dr. (Christine) Grant gave me a five-year contract and I was going to be around for five years, and I’m very thankful to her,” Bluder said. “(Assistant coaches) Jan (Jensen) and Jenni (Fitzgerald) have been here the whole time and they deserve so much of this because they have been a part of every single one of these victories.”
The historic win for Bluder didn’t come easily.
Iowa (19-6, 7-4 Big Ten) led 43-39 at the half and built a nine-point second-half lead on a pair of Melissa Dixon free throws with 12:33 left.
However, Northwestern responded with a 10-0 run to take its first lead since the opening four minutes of the game at 63-62 on a layup by Nia Coffey with 9:48 left.
Northwestern’s first lead of the second half didn’t last long.
Bethany Doolittle hit an 18-foot baseline jumper 30 seconds later that gave Iowa the lead back and ignited a 12-2 run that put the Hawkeyes in control.
“We were calm and that is where we have grown. I think before we would have got down on ourselves and let that affect our offense because we weren’t stopping them on defense,” Logic said. “We answered pretty well with a little run of our own.”
Taylor scored five straight points during the 12-2 run that was capped by a Dixon 3-pointer with 6:48 left that put Iowa on top 74-65.
Dixon was 7-of-11 from the field and 6-of-9 from 3-point range on her way to her team-high 24 points.
“I have to credit my teammates,” Dixon said. “They did a really good job of moving the ball around and setting good screens off of some of our set plays and out-of-bounds plays. All the credit goes to them.”
Northwestern (14-10, 4-7) would get no closer than four points the rest of the game, but made things interesting down the stretch.
Iowa led 88-78 with 52 seconds to play but Northwestern scored six points in 31 seconds to cut the lead to 88-84.
The Wildcats had the ball trailing by four with under 20 seconds to play, but Lauren Douglas missed a 3-pointer with seven seconds left and Logic hit a pair of free throws to put the game away.
“We made it a little hard at the end. We missed a couple of free throws and got careless against the press a little bit, but at the same time Northwestern is a good team,” Bluder said. “They are a much-improved team over their past.”
Logic came within two rebounds of notching her second straight triple-double, finishing with 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
The junior point guard was 6-of-8 from the floor and made all seven of her free throws as Iowa won for the fifth time in its past six games.
“Sam only had a double-double tonight; she is slacking,” Bluder joked. “I just have never coached a kid like her before at the point guard, and she is so much fun because I feel like in every game we are in control and she does so many things for us in so many different areas. I really consider myself fortunate to coach her.”
Taylor finished with 16 points, and Doolittle added 14 points and five rebounds for Iowa.
Ally Disterhoft had 11 points and nine rebounds as five Iowa players scored in double figures.
Iowa shot 52 percent for the game and finished with a 41-to-34 rebounding edge.
“I’m thrilled with the five players in double figures and that we out-rebounded them,” Bluder said. “We scored very well tonight. Our defense obviously has a little to be desired tonight, but at the same time we did what it takes to win and that’s the most important thing.”
Coffey finished with a game-high 29 points, and Lauren Douglas came off the bench to score 25 for Northwestern, which lost its third straight game by four points or fewer.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball