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Hawkeye women's basketball to take on Iowa State

BY BEN WOLFSON | DECEMBER 07, 2011 7:20 AM

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The outcomes of the past several matchups between the Iowa and Iowa State women's basketball teams have been pretty easy to predict.

One has just had to look at where the game was played.

Each of the last three games between the Hawkeyes and Cyclones have been 20-point victories for the home team.

Iowa won, 62-40, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena last season; two years ago Iowa State won, 66-46, in Ames.

The last time a visiting team won in the women's basketball installment of the Cy-Hawk Series was in 2006, when the Cyclones bested the Hawkeyes, 80-74.

This isn't the best omen for Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder's team (5-3), which has to travel to Hilton Coliseum for today's game with Iowa State. The arena is famous for drawing loud fans; the Cyclones (4-2) have been averaging more than 17,000 fans per home game this season.

"[It's] obviously a big game at Iowa State, a place where we haven't been successful in the past," Bluder said. "It's kind of been a situation where the home court has held in recent years.

"[Iowa State is] coming off a loss to Michigan — somebody in the Big Ten, somebody that we know pretty well. I think that will give our players a little bit of confidence."

Junior guard Jaime Printy, one of 10 native Iowans on the combined rosters, admitted she wasn't too eager to remember her last trip to Ames.

"I don't remember it being very pretty," Printy said. "I don't remember a lot of it — we didn't play well, they played pretty good, and we got beat by a lot. I'm excited to play there; it's a really hard place to play in, but that's what makes it more motivating and fun."

Printy — who leads the Hawkeyes in scoring with 18 points per game and averages 3.8 assists per contest — said the team benefited from its game against Kansas State on Dec. 3. Although the Hawkeyes ended up losing in overtime, they were able to claw back from as many as 13 points to put themselves in a position to win.

"Kansas State definitely prepared us for [Iowa State]," said the Marion native, who missed a 3-pointer with eight seconds left that could have won the game. "The way we came back in the second half against Kansas State and had that rally going gave us confidence to know that we can play and do things like that on the road. We don't have to just be at home."

This may be a perfect time for Iowa to play the Cyclones.

Iowa State has been struggling on offense, and it is only shooting 39 percent from the floor as a team.

In the Cyclones' 56-49 loss to Michigan, they made only 19-of-56 shots from the field and had more turnovers (18) than assists (12).

Head coach Bill Fennelly voiced his concern over his team's offense this season.

"People we're counting on aren't making shots yet," he said in a press conference posted to the Iowa State website. "We have to keep fighting it … Until we become more efficient offensively, we're going to struggle. Our post players are turning the ball over too much, and our guard play is too inconsistent.

"[Bluder's] team's are always efficient. She always has at least one really good post player, and they know how to win games."

Follow DI women's basketball reporter Ben Wolfson on Twitter.


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