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Hawkeyes upset by historic performance in Minnesota

BY KYLE MANN | FEBRUARY 18, 2015 5:00 AM

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Sometimes in basketball, teams just run into a matchup problem. That’s what happened Tuesday in Minneapolis to the Iowa women’s basketball team.

The No. 13 Hawkeyes (21-5, 12-3 Big Ten) traveled to Minnesota for a bout with the Gophers, and quite frankly, Amanda Zahui B. knocked them out, upending the Hawkeyes, 93-80.

Minnesota (21-6, 10-5) entered the night tied for the Big Ten lead in rebounding with 43.5 per game — and that, although improving — happens to be Iowa’s Achilles heel. Despite the Hawkeyes’ high ranking, the stage was set for an upset.

Behind Minnesota’s rebounding prowess is 6-5 center Zahui B. As one of the most physically imposing opponents the Hawkeyes have faced this season, it should come as no surprise that Zahui B. is second in the conference in rebounding (11.5), first in blocks (3.8), and fourth in scoring (17.5).

But on Tuesday night, she surpassed her averages. Only a sophomore, she finished with a career-high 39 points, a Big Ten record 29 rebounds, and 4 blocks. It was one of the most dominant performances in all of college basketball this season, and the Hawkeyes simply had no answer.

“She’s an incredibly strong player,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “She was just shooting over us.”

It was Zahui B.’s 19th career double-double, and that was drastically more than enough to counter a double-double by Iowa center Bethany Doolittle. Doolittle finished with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 blocks, but it was all Iowa had to offer in terms of resistance down low.

Ally Disterhoft was held to just 8 points on 3-of-11 shooting from the floor, registering her first single-digit scoring game in more than a month, and she grabbed only 5 rebounds.

Doolittle’s primary help on the boards was point guard Sam Logic, who finished with 8 rebounds, but a team can only do so much with such limited production in the post.

Logic posted her typical near-triple-double, with 26 points and 13 assists to go with her rebounds, but she was unable to carry her team to victory.

“I thought [Logic] played really well; I thought she tried very hard to keep us in this game,” Bluder said. “Beth has a double-double, but just not enough defense and not enough rebounding.”

Much of the Hawkeyes’ transgressions, however, go to the credit of the Golden; it was simply their night. In addition to Zahui B., Minnesota’s outside shooting prevented the Hawkeyes from making adjustments to combat the slaughter in the paint. In addition to shooting 51 percent overall, the Gophers were 8-of-12 (67 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc.

“When you’ve got shooters shooting that well from 3-point range, there’s no help you can give Beth inside,” Bluder said. “We wanted to zone, but we could not do that when they’re shooting so well.”

After playing three games in a week, the Hawkeyes now have three days to rest before their next game, at Ohio State on Saturday.

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


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