Iowa downs Northwestern, 90-84


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Monday was a night for the history books in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

Not only did head coach Lisa Bluder notch her 270th win at the helm of Iowa women’s basketball, she passed the legendary Vivian Stringer as the coach with the most wins in Hawkeye women’s basketball history and surpassed Dr. Tom Davis with the most wins in Hawkeye history. 

“When I came here 14 years ago, I was just thankful that Dr. [Christine] Grant gave me a five-year contract and that I was going to be around for five years,” Bluder said. “That’s all I really thought about at the time, and I’m very thankful to her.”

Melissa Dixon led the way in scoring for the Hawkeyes against Northwestern, pouring in 24 points on 6-of-9 shooting from downtown. Sam Logic put in another all-around effort scoring 20 points, dishing out 10 assists, and grabbing 8 boards in a performance that Bluder jokingly called slacking since Logic didn’t notch a second triple-double in as many games. Freshman Ally Disterhoft finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds, Theairra Taylor finished with 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, while Bethany Doolittle chipped in 14 points. 

“I have to credit my teammates — they just did a really good job moving the ball around and setting good screens off some of our set plays and out of bounds,” Dixon said. “All the credit goes to them.” 
Win number 270 almost didn’t happen for Bluder. 

The Hawkeyes seemed to control the game from the tip, but the Wildcats were able to keep it close until the very last seconds of the game. Iowa looked comfortable matching up against the Northwestern defenders and shot 51 percent from the field, 39 percent from beyond the arc. 

A 10-0 Wildcats run gave Chicago’s Big Ten team its first lead of the game near the nine-minute mark of the second half at 63-62. But Taylor came alive, and the Hawkeyes responded with a run of their own to regain the lead. Even then the Wildcats wouldn’t go away, once again cutting a double-digit Hawkeye lead into single digits. It was a feat Logic said the team wouldn’t have been able to accomplish earlier in the season. 

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“Before, we would have got down on ourselves and let that affect our offense, because we weren’t stopping them on defense,” Logic said. “But I think we answered pretty well … it’s just that resiliency, they’re a good team, they’re feisty, and they’re going to make runs.” 

“We made it a little hard at the end,” Bluder said of Northwestern cutting the eight point Iowa lead to four with mere seconds remaining. “We missed a couple of free throws there and got careless against the press a little bit. But Northwestern is a good team, much improved over their past.” 

Iowa was able to hold Northwestern to 45 percent from the field and only 28 percent from downtown.  It was all Nia Coffey and Lauren Douglas, all the time for the Wildcats. Coffey dropped 16 points in the first half alone, and finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds. Douglas was the second leading scorer with 25. 

“[Coffey] is a very difficult matchup,” Bluder said. “She’s so athletic, and they’re playing her out of position — she’s a wing player playing the 5 position. She’s hard matchup, and she did a great job tonight.” 

The Hawkeyes have won five of their last six contests and while Northwestern is now just 4-7 in the Big Ten, this win kicks off a week in which Iowa will play twice more.

“We did what it takes to win, and that’s the most important thing,” Bluder said. “We’ve got this week off to a good start, and that is important.”

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