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Dixon shines despite Hawkeyes' struggles

BY NICK DELAQUILA | FEBRUARY 15, 2013 5:00 AM

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The University of Iowa’s women’s basketball team dropped its 5th straight game in league play last night after being beaten by the Penn St. Nittany Lions 81-69. Although Iowa lost another game, they have yet to lose confidence.

“We are still a good team,” senior center Morgan Johnson said. “We have to continue to work together and not allow anything to bring us down and continue to work as hard as we can.”

As a team, the Hawkeyes have been struggling, but it’s the little spark of life coming off of the Hawkeye bench that people may not be aware of.

Melissa Dixon isn’t the biggest name on the Iowa women’s basketball team, or even the biggest player, but she sure is playing one of the best stretches of basketball the Iowa women have seen this season.

Despite her team losing last night and falling to 16-10 (5-7 Big Ten) Dixon has continued to put up strong numbers night in and night out.

Following up a 19 point performance on Monday night against Nebraska, in which she shot 5-10 from behind the arc, Dixon continued to fill up the scoring column contributing 16 points on 5-11 of shooting including 4-9 from deep.

“I think especially tonight in the first half we did a pretty good job of running the offense,” Dixon said. “We really let the offense work so that just created a lot of open shots for me.”

Dixon, a sophomore from Johnsburg, Ill. has now scored in double figures in four of her last five games and has been a major contributor coming off the Hawkeye bench. Last night’s performance marks the 5th time this season that Dixon has scored 15 or more points for the Black and Gold.

After floating in and out of the starting lineup early on in the year, head coach Lisa Bluder has found Dixon a comfortable role acting as the team’s first player off the bench.

“It’s wonderful and she has been doing it for us all year,” Bluder said. “She’s a person that is that sixth player who gives you that spark and it’s not just on the offensive end.”

Her main threat is from behind the arc, where going into last night’s game she was shooting an incredible 41% from deep, good for 5th in the Big Ten and 25th in the NCAA.  

Last night’s game marked the 19th time Dixon has completed at least two three point field goals in a game this season. Her head coach acknowledged the fact that she isn’t only an offensive factor when she gets out on the court.

“She comes in a plays really good defense for us and we are not scared to put her on the best offensive perimeter player on their team,” Bluder said.  “She moves her feet well, and she’s a spark both offensively and defensively because of the energy she brings.”


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