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Notebook: Stars come out as Iowa takes on Baylor

BY RYAN RODRIGUEZ | MARCH 27, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s basketball team met with members of the media on Thursday to discuss their upcoming clash with Baylor today in Oklahoma City. 

The Hawks are on their deepest postseason run in almost 20 years; they will face a Baylor squad that some are picking to win it all.

Star power on display

No matter the outcome of the game against the Bears, fans in attendance at Chesapeake Energy Arena are guaranteed a firsthand view of some of some of the best talent the NCAA has to offer. Featuring a lineup that would make even Don King jealous, the Iowa/Baylor game will be full of stars. 

The matchup will feature All-Americans Sam Logic and Melissa Dixon as well as Big 12 leading scorer Nina Davis. 

“Obviously, Davis, an incredible player,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Player of the Year in the Big 12, is only a sophomore, and she’s so effective offensively, shooting 58 percent from the field. That’s an incredible number. And so she’s obviously something that we have to be wary of.” 

But what does an elite player such as Logic look for in an individual? 

“I think that you get your teammates more involved, like I said before, that’s what I think makes a great player,” she said.  “I like watching pass-first point guards, so getting to play against one at that elite of a level, obviously leading the nation in assists, as you said, it’s just fun.” 

Home away from home

Iowa will be without its greatest advantage, Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

Going 18-0 at home this season, the Hawks were an unstoppable force when playing at home this season. 

And while Oklahoma City is a long ways away, Bluder and the team have done as much as they can to give the game a home-court feel. 

“I know a lot of players brought a piece of the net that we cut down from Carver,” Bluder said. “We did cut down the nets in Carver because we were celebrating our first Sweet 16 in a long time and going 18-0 on our home court.”   

It doesn’t stop there.  The Hawks have also brought along the Tigerhawk logo that every member of the team taps before exiting the locker room on game days.  

“We have a tradition where we always — in our locker room, we have a sign that’s a Tigerhawk that every one of our players slaps on the way out of the locker room,” Bluder said. “We’re leaving everything else behind when we hit that Tigerhawk, and we’re giving everything we have to the Iowa Hawkeyes right then.”

Hawks make history

This season is the first time Bluder has reached the Sweet 16 since taking over at Iowa in 2000, and the first time the Hawks have gotten this far in the NCAA Tournament since 1996. 

Needless to say, the team could not be happier to finally get over the postseason hump.

“It’s an incredible feeling just to be here, and we think we’ve earned it,” sophomore Ally Disterhoft said. “We played two great teams in the first two rounds and made it here for a reason. There has been a lot of excitement around this team. We’re just hoping we can make some waves down here.”

Follow @Ryanarod for news, updates, and analysis of the Iowa women’s basketball team.


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