Louisville blows out Iowa to advance to Sweet 16

BY MATT CABEL | MARCH 26, 2014 5:00 AM

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Another year, another blowout loss on the home court for the Iowa women’s basketball team in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. 

This year, it came from the No. 3 seeded Louisville Cardinals, who out-shot and out-muscled the Hawkeyes, 83-53, Tuesday evening to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row. The Cardinals lost in last year’s title game. 

“Our team didn’t make Iowa proud tonight,” Bluder said. “That’s something we’re going to think about for a long time.” 

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The loss brings a special season to a close for Iowa, which included a 27-9 record, a coaching milestone, and an appearance in the Big Ten Tournament championship. 

It was a home game for the Iowa women’s basketball team in location alone. As the lower seeded team, Iowa wore its black uniforms. And by looking at the Cardinals’ 53 percent shooting percentage and 47 percent clip from beyond the arc, it seemed that the parquet Carver floor was more in its favor than the hometown Hawkeyes, who finished at 33 percent from the field. 

“We knew they were going to have pressure, knew they would have traps and different defenses,” Hawkeye guard Sam Logic said. “It wasn’t anything we weren’t expecting; we just didn’t execute. We know how to break teams who do things like that … we just got out of our offense.” 

Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel was all over the court and all over the stat sheet again, going for 26 points, 7 assists, and 5 reboundsShe and her teammates seemed to overwhelm the Hawkeyes at times. The Hawkeyes couldn’t convert from beyond the arc, making only 1-of-16, and seemed flustered and worn out by Louisville’s depth. 

“You’re not going to contain a player like [Schimmel], you just need to limit what they do,” Logic said.

The Hawkeyes were led in scoring by freshman Ally Disterhoft, who finished with 15 points and 8 rebounds before fouling out late in the second half. Logic finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Melissa Dixon and Bethany Doolittle combined for 14 points after averaging double-digit scoring.

After a dizzying first four minutes of gameplay, the contest was tied at 9 before Iowa went cold. The Cardinals went on a 14-6 run to jump out to a 23-15 lead with 7:26 left in the half, a run in which Iowa went scoreless from the field for almost eight minutes. Iowa also couldn’t get things going in the assist category, tallying only 7 with 19 turnovers. 

Things didn’t get much better in the second half for Iowa. The Cardinals opened up the half on a 7-0 run and never took their foot off the gas, outscoring Iowa 44-30 in the half. 

‘We went away from things that were working for us,” Bluder said.  “We had some great drives to the basket … They did a nice job keeping the ball out of Sam’s hands.” 

It was a tough way for fifth-year senior Theairra Taylor to finish her career. After accumulating numerous 20-point games at the tail end of the season, Taylor finished her last game with a 10-point, 4-rebound performance. 

“We wanted this for her really badly,” an emotional Bluder said in the postgame press conference. 

But the senior said she won’t remember her career by the adversity she overcame, she’ll remember it by the relationships she formed, throughout her career and in a season she overviewed as “awesome.” 

“We didn’t go out the way we wanted to, but Coach said we can’t remember the season just based on one game,” Taylor said. “This is one of my favorite seasons being here as a Hawkeye; it’s something I want to remember as a wonderful journey.”

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