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Bluder wins No. 300 as Iowa downs Wisconsin

BY KYLE MANN | FEBRUARY 27, 2015 5:00 AM

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Coming off two-consecutive losses for the first time this season, the Hawkeyes were eager to return home to host the 8-18 Badgers.

Though heavily favored, Iowa battled Wisconsin for much of the game before Sam Logic closed the door on a 78-74 victory and gave head coach Lisa Bluder career victory No. 300.

Iowa led for essentially the entire first half but by never more than 5 points, and Wisconsin had an answer for everything the Hawkeyes threw at them.

It set the tone for the game, and the Badgers didn’t go away. The lead was cut to 29-26 at the final media time-out of the half.

It was an ugly half for both teams, capped by a foul with under a second remaining. After the Badgers split the pair at the line, Iowa took a 35-33 lead to the locker room.

Logic led the Hawkeyes at the break with 13 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Bethany Doolittle had 8 points with 3 rebounds and a block, while Ally Disterhoft had 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

The second half began at a much more torrid pace, led by Logic. The Hawkeyes opened on an 8-0 run to go up 43-33, including back-to-back 3s by Disterhoft and Melissa Dixon, each on rebounds and assists from Logic. Predictably, however, Wisconsin countered with a 9-0 run of its own to bring the score to 43-42.

As it turned out, the Badgers rode that run to its first lead since the opening minutes at 49-45 just under the 15-minute mark. Iowa tied the score at 52 on a 3 by Kali Peschel near the 13-minute mark, prompting a tumultuous back and forth.

“We just tried to maintain our composure,” Doolittle said. “We all get into our huddles and focus our energy on what the next play is. That really helped us out in getting stops on defense.”

Having recaptured a 58-54 lead near the eight-minute mark, Logic sent in her second triple of the game to go up 61-54 and gave the fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena a reason to erupt, which they had desperately waited for.

The Hawkeyes built a lead as large as 13 before — surprise — the Badgers came back.

“It’s really weird, you have a 13-point lead with three minutes to go, and I thought we did a decent job of trying to milk the clock a little bit toward the end,” Bluder said. “But they made some quick shots.”

The Badgers made six of their next seven shots, including four 3-pointers, to cut the lead to 73-70 with 56 seconds remaining. They kept Iowa engaged to the finish, but several fouls and free throws later, Iowa emerged victorious, 78-74.

Logic was hands-down the performer of the night — she finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists.

“I just really want our team to win,” she said. “We want to win so bad, whatever it takes to get one, that’s what we’re going to do.”


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