Doolittle, Dixon lead Hawkeyes in 92-68 exhibition win over Concordia-St. Paul
If there was one thing to take away from Iowa women’s basketball’s 92-68 exhibition win over Concordia-St. Paul, it’s that everyone on the roster will be required to do a little bit of everything.
Centers will be required to score outside of the paint and find open shooters, guards will have to get in the paint and grab rebounds. And that’s exactly what the Hawkeyes did. Guard Theairra Taylor was the team’s leader in assists with 6, and guard Claire Till led the team in rebounds with 9.
“Our team had a lot of fun,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We played with a lot of energy today and pushed the ball well. We also shot the ball well and shared the ball extremely well.”
Guard Melissa Dixon and center Bethany Doolittle led the way for the Hawkeyes. Doolittle was all over the stat lines, finishing with 20 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and 2 steals.
Dixon opened up the game and the season just as she ended the last: with a hot hand from beyond the arc. Dixon scored the team’s first 6 points and forced a Concordia time-out after barely 30 seconds of play. She finished the game 4-of-5 from downtown to finish with 18 points and a steal.
“My teammates did a really great job when they were driving, and the defense collapsed on them, so I was really open,” Dixon said. “Overall, we all did a really great job offensively.”
Freshman guard Ally Disterhoft finished with 13 in her début in a Hawkeye uniform. The Iowa City native had success getting into the paint and drawing fouls, and she went 3-of-6 from the charity stripe.
“It just came with the game,” Disterhoft said about getting to the free-throw line. “We like to push the ball, and that’s what we’re trying to do. I just tried to get on the break and catch the passes that Sam as throwing, and we got a free shots from the free-throw line because of that.”
Junior guard Samantha Logic, the team’s floor general, wasn’t afraid to take risks during the game for the sake of establishing the team’s up-tempo offense. Her first play of the game was a pass to a cutting Taylor that was batted out of bounds by the opposition. The Hawkeyes finished with 22 fast-break points.
“Whenever you push like that, you’re going to have more turnovers,” Bluder said. “But that’s something that you’re just going to have to live with and live through and grow from. I think we started establishing that today.”
But the risks were worth their reward, both from Logic and her teammates — the team was able to use speed to its advantage and score on fast breaks. Late in the first half, Doolittle found guard Taylor streaking to her left and passed the ball. But Taylor passed it right back to Doolittle for a transition lay-up that drew a roar from the crowd in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
All 11 players on the Iowa roster saw action in the exhibition matchup in various configurations. Guard Kali Peschel got the start for the Hawkeyes at the power forward position, but it wasn’t long before Bluder sent in substitutes. First came Claire Till for Peschel, and under than a minute later, Nicole Smith and Disterhoft came in as well. Alexa Kastanek also proved to be a competent backup for Logic when it came to finding teammates for assists. The Hawkeyes had 26 assists on 36 field goals, a statistic that Bluder wants to see more of in the future.
“Time after time, I saw our team passing the ball for just a little bit better shot, and that is exactly what we want them to do,” Bluder said.
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