Hawkeyes defeat Marist, 87-65

BY JACOB SHEYKO | MARCH 24, 2014 5:00 AM

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For the second-straight season, on the heels of its 87-65 win over Marist, the Iowa women’s basketball team will advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

And just like last season, one of the best teams in the nation awaits the Hawkeyes.

“It was one of those games I thought offensively we just had so many weapons, whether it was Bethany [Doolittle] inside, Theairra [Taylor] has a career high 3 pointers, Melissa [Dixon] gets going later in the game, Sam [Logic] is one rebound short of a triple double,” head coach Lisa Bluder said.
“In an NCAA game, that doesn’t happen very often.”

Iowa led for the majority of the contest — it never trailed after a Taylor 3-pointer went down with seven minutes remaining in the first half. But for at least the first half, it was competitive.

However, once Iowa started knocking down 3s, the Red Foxes didn’t stand a chance.

Iowa didn’t come out of the gates firing, though — the Hawkeyes missed their first five attempts from long-range, possibly a result from the two-week hiatus following the Big Ten Tournament.

But once the Hawkeyes hit a few, the 3s started falling like dominos — they nailed 12 of their next 18 attempts. And everyone joined in.

“Hats off to Iowa, because they shot the hell out of the ball, especially in the second half.” Marist head coach Brian Giorgis said. “What do we do? You tip your hat to them.”

Giorgis did note that Iowa’s home court advantage helped in this aspect, but he gave no excuses.

“I think if we played on Mars, I think Iowa would have beaten us the way they shot the ball,” he said.

When the final buzzer sounded, five Hawkeyes had connected from deep, culminating in Iowa shooting 12-of-25 from 3-point range.

“Coach just tells us to keep shooting,” Taylor said. “Bethany demands so much attention that we were wide open … we started to let it go and kept building our confidence as we went on.”

Most of these 3s came on a drive and kick from Iowa cocaptain Logic, who was pulled with three minutes remaining, 1 rebound shy from her fourth triple-double of the year.

While Iowa couldn’t seem to miss in the second half, Marist couldn’t buy a bucket. And while Iowa succeeded from 3-point range, Marist — a 37.7 percent team from beyond the arc coming into this game — shot just 26.7 percent.

Iowa combined its outside attack with the inside presence of Doolittle, who finished with 21 points and 8 rebounds. The majority of these points came in the opening minutes of each half, as Iowa had a vast size advantage.

“From the get-go, we a little bit of a height advantage down low,” Doolittle said. “That definitely helped us out later on get the players on the perimeter open.”

But for Iowa, there are little rewards for winning this game. In fact, the only reward the Hawks get is the chance to play No. 3-seeded Louisville. Which for many that have seen Louisville play, is not a reward at all.

With a win, this Iowa squad could become the first to advance to the Sweet 16 under Bluder.

“It’s something that we would love to accomplish,” Bluder said. “I mean, who wouldn’t want to be in the Sweet 16?”

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