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Iowa notebook: Dixon has the go sign

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | DECEMBER 10, 2014 5:00 AM

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Iowa head women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder met with the media on Tuesday heading in to her team’s clash Thursday against Iowa State in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawks are coming off a home win against Colorado that saw the Black and Gold bounce back after falling to Louisville three days before. Iowa heads into the Cy-Hawk game with a 7-2 record, including a perfect 6-0 record at home.

Dixon gets green light

Senior Melissa Dixon had herself a game from beyond the arc against Colorado, going 5-of-10 and finishing with a season high 23 points.

For Bluder, Dixon’s performance was just another reminder of how much trust she places on the Illinois native. 

“Unless we’ve got a 10-point lead with four minutes left, I’m pretty much going to let her shoot whenever she wants,” Bluder said. “In all my years I don’t think I’ve coached a player here with a quicker release than Melissa’s.”

And for Dixon, a vote of confidence from her coach is all she could want.

“If your coach has so much confidence in you, how can you not have it in yourself?” Dixon said. “And that really comes from preparing. You know that if you’ve been in the gym and getting those shots in that the next one is going to go in, too.”

Home-court advantage

Home-court advantage has historically been very important in the Cy-Hawk series, with the road team loosing every matchup since the 2006-2007 season.

And with this year’s matchup slated to take place in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes have earned a major advantage before the game starts.

Center Bethany Doolittle is no stranger to the crowd affecting a game.

“It’s definitely a nice factor to have,” she said. “Last year, going into their place was kind of tough for us. We had a good first half but kind of let it go in the second, so I think we’ll us the crowd to our advantage this time around.” 

Still, the experienced players up and down the Hawkeye lineup know that they have to show up ready to play, regardless of where.

“It’s a big rivalry game, but I don’t think that’s where our attention is,” sophomore Ally Disterhoft said. “We’re not trying to read into that too much; we just want to play our game.”

Trial by fire for freshmen

Most of the players on the Iowa roster know everything there is to know about the Iowa State rivalry and what it means to both schools as well as the state. 

And while Iowa’s four freshmen have yet to gain firsthand experience in the Cy-Hawk series, Bluder and the rest of her team are making sure they prepare the underclassmen as best as they can before Thursday night rolls around.

“We just have to remind them of this rivalry and what it means,” Doolittle said. “It’s a huge event every year, especially for the Iowa natives on our team, but everyone here knows what the tradition is like for us.”

Follow @ryanarod on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa women’s basketball team.


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