Jan. 12, 2014
By RICK KLATT
MADISON, Wis. -- Is there such a thing as a perfect basketball game played on the road in the Big Ten Conference? The effort turned in by Lisa Bluder's nationally ranked Iowa Hawkeyes Sunday against the Wisconsin Badgers just might qualify.
Bluder's Bunch made the 2 ½ -hour bus ride to Wisconsin's state capital seeking its second straight Big Ten win knowing a victory would even their league record at two wins, two losses, and up their overall record to 14-4. Mission accomplished - the final score was Iowa 82, Wisconsin 65 - and, in so doing, the Badgers fall to 8-7, 1-2.
Iowa will now carry a two-game winning streak and the momentum of victories in four of their last six games into Thursday's date against Michigan State on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
What was so perfect about the Hawkeyes' performance? Pick the category.
Let's start with the fact that they led from start to finish, sprinting to a 16-6 lead when Ally Disterhoft dropped a free throw less than six minute in and to 35-23 with two minutes left in the first half when Bethany Doolittle dropped a jumper.
Wisconsin made a couple of runs, one late in the first half and another early in the second -- both sparked by pressure -- but when Samantha Logic sank a pair of free throws to push the lead back to double-digits at 63-53 with eight minutes to play, it was game over.
"In the first half, we weren't ready for their press (late in the half. We were a little more on our game in the second half when they tried to press us again," Bluder said about the Badgers' run that cut Iowa's lead to five.
Iowa shot a solid 52 percent from the field, knocking down 33 of 63 attempts, while limiting the home to just 24 field goals on 40 percent shooting.
Included in Iowa's 33 field goals were six three points and while the Badgers had seven, they needed to take 20 shots to get them. Iowa attempted just 13 shots behind the arc.
"We shot the ball well, very well. We also shared the ball well. We celebrate those assists," added Iowa's head coach.
Iowa also dominated the boards, racking up a 39-28 advantage thanks in great measure to 13 offensive rebounds. The Hawkeyes also accumulated 23 assists and a pair of blocked shots.
"We shot the ball well, very well. We also shared the ball well. We celebrate those assists."
With 20 points each, Disterhoft and Doolittle paced an Iowa attack that had four players in double figures. Logic added 16 points and 11 assists and seven assists.
"I don't think it was her best game. I think she was pressing a little big. But, she's our leader and she again came up big in crunch time." Bluder said of Logic, a native of Racine, Wis., who had a bus-load of fans in the stands.