Dixon propels Hawkeye women’s basketball past Northwestern

BY MATT CABEL | MARCH 04, 2013 5:00 AM

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Melissa Dixon may have solidified herself as the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year.

The Northwestern Wildcats stole a win from the Hawkeyes on a last-second lay-up by Northwestern guard Karly Roser one month ago. Dixon and the Hawkeyes didn’t let the game get close enough in the second for the Wildcats to have a chance this time around. They beat the Wildcats, 62-45, in Evanston on Sunday afternoon, finishing the regular season at 19-11 (8-8 Big Ten).

Dixon was the driving force behind the Hawkeye victory. She scored 21 points, grabbed 3 rebounds, and notched an assist coming off the bench. She scored 8 points during a 12-2 Iowa run that closed the first-half, and finished the afternoon shooting 8-of-15 field goals.

“That’s been my role all year: bringing a spark off the bench,” she said in a release. “That helped us a lot and brought us even more confidence going into the second half, that this was our game, we were going to win it.”

Sam Logic also performed well against the Wildcats, scoring 7 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. The sophomore’s 7 assists helped propel her past Cara Consuegra’s 191 single-season assist record for Iowa, which now rests at 198. Logic and the Hawkeyes tallied 18 assists on 25 field goals.

“When you come from a program like Iowa, with the rich tradition that we have, any time you break a record, it’s remarkable,” head coach Lisa Bluder said in a release. “When you look at the point guards we’ve had go through our system, and that she’s only a sophomore — you can’t get your hands on that, really.”

The game didn’t enter double-digits until Northwestern’s Lauren Douglas made a lay-up to give her team an 11-9 advantage with 10:23 remaining in the first half. The game was tied at 19 before Dixon led the Hawkeyes on their 12-2 run.

Sunday was Dixon’s second 20-point performance this week. She scored 22 on Feb. 28 in a win against Indiana and finished the week with a combined 43 points. She scored a combined 34 points in the team’s previous three games.

“Whenever we’re in an offensive drought, we look for Melissa,” Bluder said in a release. “She’s the one that can just get us going — she has these huge run of 3-pointers. She’ll get two or three of them in a row that just build such momentum for our team.”

This victory helped cement Iowa as the seventh seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament. But Northwestern finished the regular season as the 10th seed. The two teams will meet for a third time in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.

The Wildcats will take these next four days to correct many of the mistakes that cost them Sunday’s game — a game they firmly believe they could’ve won.

“Right after the game we talked about second chances, so we have a great opportunity to play [Iowa] in four days,” Northwestern’s Roser said in a release. “They have a target on their back now because we want to beat them.”

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