It has been two games and 10 days since the Iowa women’s basketball team upset ninth-ranked Penn State in Happy Valley.
Yet that win and the confidence that came with it are still paying dividends for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa (20-6, 8-4 Big Ten) has won two straight games following the win at Penn State and enters Sunday’s road contest at Purdue (17-7, 7-5) having won six of its last seven games.
The win at Penn State was the fourth consecutive Big Ten road win for the Hawkeyes, who will try to continue that streak at 1 p.m. today at Mackey Arena.
“We are coming off that good Penn State victory, and we know we can go into a very hostile environment like we are going to see at Purdue and win,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “They are a good team. They are a team that is ranked in the top 25 and a team that also beat Penn State at Penn State. We know they are very, very good.”
Confidence is a key to winning on the road, and the Hawkeyes won’t be lacking in that area today.
Iowa has won three straight over the Boilermakers, including a 72-52 win in West Lafayette, Ind., last season — the Hawkeyes’ first win there in more than 15 years.
“To know that we went in there last year and won at their place, I think that is helpful because traditionally that had been a place we had struggled at,” Bluder said. “I think getting that monkey off our back last year was good.”
Today’s game ends a seven-day stretch that saw Iowa play three games in seven days, beginning with Monday’s 90-84 win over Northwestern.
Iowa avoided a letdown in a 69-55 win over Illinois on Thursday and sits alone in fourth place in the Big Ten standings at 8-4.
Purdue is right behind the Hawkeyes at 7-5, as teams begin to jockey for the top-four seeds in next month’s Big Ten Tournament and the opening round byes that come with them.
“Anytime you can get momentum, especially at this time of the year, it’s huge,” Bluder said. “We have the confidence that we have played well on the road and I think that’s helpful.”
One of the keys in the Hawkeyes’ two victories this week has been Iowa’s work on the glass.
Iowa out-rebounded Northwestern 41-34 and held a 40 to 23 rebounding edge over Illinois.
The Hawkeyes are plus-10 in rebounding in their eight Big Ten wins this season, and have been out-rebounded by a total of 43 in their four conference losses.
“I think that rebounding is an area that we needed to improve on, and I think our team has focused on that,” Bluder said. “It’s nice to see that they are listening and making those adjustments.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball