Hawkeye women's basketball to face Badgers for second time in as many weeks

BY BEN ROSS | JANUARY 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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It will be business as usual for the Iowa women’s basketball team tonight when the Hawks take on Wisconsin, 14 days after beating the Badgers, 65-56, in Madison.

“I feel like it’s kind of weird. It feels like we just played them,” senior guard Jaime Printy said. “But at the same time, it’s kind of beneficial because we remember what they like to do, who are their best players, who we need to key in on. We’re familiar with how they play, and playing them so close together, it’s definitely fresh in our memory.”

All those sound like good things when one takes into account the fact that Iowa, with a 3-2 conference record, remains a serious contender for a Big Ten title during a time when the conference has four teams ranked in the top 25. Iowa, even with five wins against ranked opponents, received just four votes to be ranked in the most recent polls.

Even though the Badgers currently reside in the bowels of the conference in terms of Big Ten record, Iowa cannot afford any hiccups if it is to receive any love from the press in terms of a ranking.  In other words, the Hawkeyes can’t lose games they have no business losing.

Still, the Black and Gold have their work cut out for them, and they know it. At least that’s what sophomore guard Sam Logic said.

“We’re really excited to get back on the floor again after Sunday, trying to build on that win and get a little win streak going,” she said. “We’ve played Wisconsin before. They’re always a tough, competitive team. We just really have to be ready for tomorrow.”

Depth could play a large role in tonight’s contest — Wisconsin has just nine players on its active roster thanks to injuries.  Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said that could help her team in running the fast break and hurt the Badgers because they will be forced to keep their star player in Morgan Paige on the floor for as many minutes as possible.

“We are pretty effective with the fast break the first time we played them, and I think that’s something we want to continue to look for against them,” coach Lisa Bluder said. “Where I think it hurts you a lot is in practice and preparation for games, and definitel,y Morgan Paige is having to play a lot of minutes, and that can get tiring as the Big Ten season goes on.”

In theory, Iowa should be able to hand Wisconsin a loss for the second time. It will be interesting to watch, though, to see which Hawkeye squad shows up. Championship teams don’t lose games they have no business losing. Coming off a 62-46 demolishing of then No. 11 Purdue on Sunday, it’s safe to say, then, Iowa has no business losing to Wisconsin.

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