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The Box Score

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | NOVEMBER 06, 2014 5:00 AM

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With November right around the corner, another season of Iowa women’s basketball is upon us.

The Black and Gold will head into the season with one of the strongest teams in the conference, returning four of their five starters from 2013, including pre-season All-Big Ten selection Sam Logic.

And while on paper the team is solid, another successful season for the Hawkeyes will mean remaining dominant in a number of statistical categories across the Big Ten conference.

Scoring Offense: Points Per Game — 78.2 (1st in Big Ten in 2013) 

Iowa’s success in 2013 was predicated largely on the fact that the Hawks boasted the most dynamic and potent offense in the Big Ten, and one of the most deadly in the entire country.

Head coach Lisa Bluder’s squad seems primed for another high scoring season in 2014, returning its top four scorers from a year ago.

Bethany Doolittle (14.2 points), Logic (13.3 points), and Ally Diesterhoft (13.2 points) all finished within the top 20 in points per game in the Big Ten last year.

And while the loss of senior Theairra Taylor is significant, a strong sophomore year from Diesterhoft and a breakout freshman campaign from guard Whitney Jennings  should be more than enough to bolster the Iowa offense.

Scoring Defense: Opposing Points Per Game — 69.3 (10th in Big Ten in 2013) 

While Iowa was a force to be reckoned with offensively last season, the Black and Gold struggled mightily at limiting opposing teams from scoring in 2013, with six of the team’s nine total losses coming on nights when the Hawks put up at least 70 points.

Giving up an average of almost 70 points a night, only conference bottom feeder Illinois allowed more per game. 

It’s a troubling stat, and one that seems all the more interesting considering the team finished third in steals with almost nine a game and second in turnover margin with +2.50. 

Limiting quality chances from beyond the three-point arc and more aggressive rebounding would serve the Hawks well in 2014, as they finished near the bottom of the conference in both defensive rebounds and three-point defense. 

Three-point field goal percentage — .334 (7th in Big Ten in 2013)

Beyond the arc is where the loss of Theairra Taylor will sting the most for the Black and Gold. 

An Iowa team that was slightly below average from three-point range last year will try to improve on that mark despite losing arguably its best long-range shooter.

Taylor finished first on the team last year in three-point field goal percentage, knocking down shots at a solid 37.2% through 36 games, a mark that put her in the top-12 in the Big ten Conference.

She also ranked second in total attempts (278, 7.7 points per game) and total three-point field goals made with 48.

Senior Melissa Dixon will now handle the bulk of the team’s three’s, at least through the first few games of the season. The Illinois native attempted over twice as many as three’s as Taylor, and only Illinoi’s Amber Moore sunk more three balls than Dixon in the conference last season.


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