Huge second half propels No. 9 seed Iowa women's basketball past No. 8 seed Miami

BY MATT CABEL | MARCH 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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The No. 9-seeded Iowa women’s basketball team beat eighth-seeded Miami, 69-53, Sunday evening during first-round action in the NCAA Tournament in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win is the Hawkeyes’ first in the tournament since the 2009-10 season. 

“Anytime you win a game, it’s great,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “You win at home, it’s special. But when you win in the NCAA Tournament, it’s amazing.”

Sophomore guard Sam Logic led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting. She also pulled in 11 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. Sophomore Melissa Dixon, the Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year, aided Logic’s effort with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including going 3-4 from beyond the arc.

“I have a great team around me,” Logic said. “They can’t just focus on one person — it just ended up that it was me tonight. Anyone can be the leading scorer; it just ended up being me today.”

Morgan Strohman and Shawnice Wilson led the ’Canes with 15 points each. Iowa held Miami’s Stefanie Yderstrom, a potent scoring threat throughout the season, to just 2. The Hurricanes out-rebounded the Hawkeyes, 53-37, including 25 off the offensive glass compared with Iowa’s 14.

The Hawkeyes jumped out to a quick 9-4 lead after four minutes of play, but the Hurricanes responded by tying the score minutes later. The game had six lead changes, and the teams were tied five times throughout regulation. 

Dixon was the difference maker for the Hawkeyes in the second half after being held scoreless and committing two early fouls in the first half. Dixon drained two-straight 3-pointers to put her team within 1 after the Hawkeyes trailed 32-27 with 18 minutes remaining in the second-half.

“I was very well rested going into the second half,” Dixon said and laughed. “I didn’t get to play much in the first half. We ran our set plays very well; they switched on a couple of screens, which allowed me to be open, and my teammates made some really good passes to me.”

Logic’s layup at the 17-minute mark in the second half gave Iowa its first lead of the half, 35-34. Dixon proceeded to drain a long 3 to give the team a 3-point lead.

It was all Iowa from there.

“Iowa’s got some basketball players,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “Just basketball players. They play basketball — they’re composed. The ball means more to them than it means to us.”

Bluder’s Bunch were adamant that the home crowd of 6,836 fans played a difference in their win.

They’ll need an even bigger one Tuesday night, when No. 1seeded Notre Dame Fighting awaits them.

“When we hit some of those 3s, it really got us going,” Bluder said. “I think that’s when the crowd got into it … I think this place was ready to go. They got behind us, and then we were on a roll.”

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