Women's basketball headed back to Cancun

BY CODY GOODWIN | JULY 31, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s basketball team’s upcoming season includes a trip to Cancún at the end of November.

Coach Lisa Bluder and her team will face USC, Boston College, and UNC-Wilmington in the Cancún Challenge from Nov. 28-30.  The team will play all three games at the all-inclusive Aventura Palace Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, tournament officials said.

Iowa is one of eight teams that will play three games at the resort. The Cancún Challenge Riviera Tournament features Arizona State, Arkansas State, Illinois, and North Carolina. The Mayan Tournament features the Hawkeyes and their three opponents. The teams each play one game per day.

The Hawkeyes are 3-1 against Southern Cal, splitting two neutral-site games. Iowa dropped its one game against Boston College, 72-67, in Carver-Hawkeye during the 2009-10 campaign in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Hawkeyes have not faced UNC-Wilmington.

Bluder’s Bunch will begin competition at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28 against USC. Iowa’s second game, against Boston College, will be at 5 p.m. Nov. 29. The Hawkeyes’ final game is a 7:30 p.m. tipoff on Nov. 30 against UNC-Wilmington.

Iowa last traveled to Cancún in 2010, knocking off James Madison and Virginia Tech.

The Cancún Challenge tournaments are unique events. The Aventura Palace Resort’s convention center ballroom is converted into an arena, which provides fans a special close-up view of the game.

The Iowa women’s basketball team finished 21-13 overall last season with an 8-8 mark in Big Ten play. That record earned the Hawkeyes an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament. Iowa is the only Big Ten team, and one of only 13 teams in the nation, to have appeared in the last six NCAA Tournaments.

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