Bluder remembers 2008 Kansas loss


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The Iowa women’s basketball team (2-0) is set to face No. 19 Kansas (1-0) on Wednesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game marks the second-straight year the two teams have met in a nonconference contest.

Last season, the Jayhawks were too much for the Hawkeyes. Iowa lost, 76-55, in Lawrence, Kan.

This week’s meeting in Iowa City will give Lisa “Bluder’s Bunch” a shot at redemption. The 10th-year head coach called Iowa’s loss last season one of the biggest disappointments of the 2008-09 campaign.

“We felt like we had a veteran team,” Bluder said during her press conference on Monday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “[A team] that could handle some of the situations, handle the hostile environment and the pressure defense that we saw. We just collapsed.”

Wednesday’s meeting may be a home game for the Hawkeyes, but as Bluder said, “They just took it at us at their place last year, and they’re better this year.” Kansas returns four starters from a team that won 22 games and was runner-up in the WNIT. Those starters include Danielle McCray, the Big 12’s preseason Player of the Year.

Hawkeye fans have the opportunity to catch the action at Carver for $1 as a part of Iowa’s annual “Buck Night.” All tickets are $1, and student admission is free. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

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Injury report includes four Hawkeyes

Iowa’s lone senior, JoAnn Hamlin, who checked into the hospital with a severe blood clot in her right leg on Nov. 8, remains out indefinitely.

Bluder said Hamlin was still in intensive care during the coach’s press conference, but hoped the center would be in a regular hospital bed by the end of Monday.

“[Hamlin’s] goal is to be at our game on Wednesday,” Bluder said. “That would be a wonderful thing for our team to see her here [at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.]”

Sophomore Hannah Draxten, who missed the Hawkeye Challenge due to a herniated disc in her back, is “highly doubtful” for Wednesday’s game, her head coach said. Bluder called Draxten a “slight possibility” for Sunday’s road opener at Northern Iowa.

Freshman Theairra Taylor will not play against Kansas or Northern Iowa. She is expected to miss a couple weeks after suffering a fractured eye socket in practice last week. Bluder said Taylor will see an eye specialist on today.

In brighter injury news, Bluder hopes freshman Gabby Machado will able to play against Kansas. Machado has been dealing with an ankle sprain.

Freshmen Morgan Johnson and Jaime Printy will continue to fill in for Hamlin and Draxten in the starting line-up.

Alexander earns co-Big Ten Player of the Week honors

Iowa junior Kachine Alexander was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday along with Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender.

Alexander was named MVP of the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge after she led the Hawkeyes to a 75-67 victory over Illinois State in Sunday’s championship game.

The 5-9 guard’s double-double (21 points, 12 rebounds) against the Redbirds was her second of the weekend. Alexander posted 19 points and a Hawkeye Challenge record-tying 18 rebounds in Iowa’s 67-51 victory over Santa Clara on Nov. 14.

“I think it’s a great accomplishment,” Bluder said of Alexander’s third career Big Ten Player of the Week honor. “Of course, when you average a double-double over the weekend, you probably deserve it.”

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