Bluder's Bunch heads to Cedar Falls to face UNI

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 18, 2011 7:20 AM

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The Iowa women's basketball team will follow up its most complete game of the season, an 82-60 win over Albany on Wednesday, with a trip to Cedar Falls to face Northern Iowa on Saturday.

The Panthers have had a good start to the season by beating Colorado State, 61-50, and Chicago State, 88-54.

This is the first of three in-state rivalry games for Iowa; the Hawkeyes will face Iowa State in Ames on Dec. 7 and Drake at home on Dec. 20.

"[The Panthers] do a lot of things similar to us," head coach Lisa Bluder said on Wednesday night. "We know it's going to be a great battle; they're the defending Missouri Valley champions and have been in the NCAA Tournament the last few years."

Like Iowa, the Panthers appear to be a deep team. Seven players average more than 15 minutes per game, and UNI also boasts three players averaging more than 13 points per game: seniors Katelin Oney and Rachel Madrigal and junior Mercedees Morgan.

UNI is, on average, a smaller team than Iowa can expect to face in the Big Ten. This could bode well for the Hawkeyes. Against Albany, 6-2 senior forward Kelly Krei recorded her third career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Black and Gold also have junior Morgan Johnson and freshman Bethany Doolittle, who are 6-5 and 6-4, respectively.

Johnson was limited by two quick fouls in the first half of Wednesday's game, but she played 19 minutes and contributed 12 points and 6 boards. Doolittle played 17 minutes had some nice moments off the bench; she shot 4-of-6 from the field for 8 points and had 3 rebounds.

"I'm really happy for Bethany because she hadn't gotten a rebound in the first two games, and she had 3 tonight," Bluder said on Wednesday. "She shot the ball well, and she had some really nice passes. I thought we saw a jump in Bethany's [confidence] tonight."

— by Ben Wolfson

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