Hawkeye women's basketball looks to rebound against Huskers

BY BEN ROSS | FEBRUARY 11, 2013 5:00 AM

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It’s been two weeks since the Iowa women’s basketball team held a top-25 ranking. Since being given the recognition, the squad, which boasts a sparkling 6-0 record against ranked opponents, has gone 0-3, all to unranked conference foes. Tonight Iowa (16-8, 5-5 Big Ten) has a chance to redeem itself against a hot Nebraska (17-6, 7-3) squad in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa hasn’t quite found the groove it had earlier in the season, as it’s struggling to remove itself from the slump undertaken of late. The skid began on Jan. 31 when Illinois stomped on Iowa, 74-62, to hand the Hawkeyes their third conference loss of the season.

Iowa then allowed Northwestern to hit a buzzer-beating lay-up three days later — in Iowa City, nonetheless. The most recent slip-up came in Minneapolis on Feb. 7, when Minnesota spoiled a late comeback from Iowa, 72-60. Minnesota was led by sophomore Rachel Banham, who netted 34 points for the Golden Gophers.

It’s not as if all is lost for Iowa. If the squad can defeat a smoking Nebraska side riding a five-game winning streak, the Hawkeyes will have some momentum when they get their first go at No. 8 Penn State on Thursday.

After the loss to Minnesota, Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said that dwelling on the past does no favors for the team and that getting her players’ confidence back is her No. 1 priority.

“We have to play again Monday — we have to get ready,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said in a release after her squad’s loss to Minnesota. “We can’t sit here and dwell on it. We’ve got to go back and look at film; we have to get in the gym and get those shots in and get our confidence back.”

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