Iowa downs Indiana, 81-64


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Sunday afternoon’s matchup against Indiana had all the makings of a classic trap game for the Iowa women’s basketball team.

Coming off a hard-fought and emotional road win against Nebraska on Feb. 12, the Hawks hosted a basement-dwelling Indiana squad before having to fly today to play a Tuesday evening game on the road at Minnesota.

Thankfully for the Hawkeyes, it couldn’t have played out any better.

Aggressive both in the paint and from the field, the Black and Gold downed the Hoosiers, 81-64, to earn their 21st win of the season, 12th in the Big Ten.

“I really felt like we were in control the whole game,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. 

“Just another good victory for us. We got really good bench play today, and that’s good, knowing that we only have one day to prepare for Minnesota coming up.”

Interestingly enough, the Hawkeyes were touch-and-go for part of the first half, it seemed, never truly finding a rhythm or opportunity to get their shooting legs under them.

Unbelievably hair-trigger even by Lisa Bluder standards, the Black and Gold gunned up an astounding 34 shots in the first half. 

What’s more, the Hawkeyes knocked down six 3s in those first 20 minutes on attempts from seven different players.

“We got a little bit 3-point happy in the first, but I think in the second, we got Chase the ball and Christina [Buttenham] and Kali [Peschel] had some good drives and passes to contribute,” senior Sam Logic said. “Just a full, complete game, and we’re really happy with that.”

And while those kinds of numbers don’t typically lower the season-average shooting percentage, Iowa’s first half was far from typical.

Taking advantage of an under-whelming Hoosiers squad with a league-worst offensive-rebounding rate, Iowa was able to overcome an off night from the floor by nearly doubling the number of its usual attempts through the first half.

Bluder’s three-center rotation of Beth Doolittle, Claire Till, and Chase Coley, as well as an aggressive effort from Logic, dominated the Hoosiers down low and helped keep the ball in in Iowa’s possession for large spans of time, allowing it numerous opportunities to find space and fire away.

“We’ve really just been playing as a team,” sophomore Ally Disterhoft said. “That’s something that we hang our hats on, that anyone can score, and I think we demonstrated that pretty well tonight.”

The second half, by contrast, was classic Iowa. 

Emerging from the bowels of Carver to start the second, the Hawks found their footing and buried the Hoosiers on the back of a 61 percent effort from the field.

Every member of the Iowa bench played Sunday, with all but two players recording at least a point.

“We were driving and looking to hit people who had open shots, and looking to hit Chase and Beth when we could, so I really think we executed on all cylinders tonight,” Disterhoft said. 

It was a dramatic statement win in front of Carver’s largest crowd this season to set up the Hawks for their clash Tuesday night in Minneapolis.

“We got a lot of places that don’t have that kind of home support,” Logic said. “We’ve seen men’s teams that don’t have that kind of support, so it was nice to get a win as a sendoff.”

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

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