Feb. 1, 2014
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- It was a similar tune for the University of Iowa women's basketball team Saturday. Samantha Logic continued to drive the team, Bethany Doolittle blocked her way further up the record book, and the head-scratching bad luck against Nebraska continued.
Logic scored a team-high 22 points, thanks mostly to a career-high 5-of-7 performance from 3-point range, and Doolittle blocked five shots to move past Megan Skouby into third place on the UI career chart with 155. But neither of those impressive feats were enough to slay the Cornhuskers, 80-67, on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa lost for just the second time in its last seven games and sits 17-6 overall, 5-4 in the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska, winner of seven in a row against the Hawkeyes, is 15-5, 5-3.
"It's kind of odd because Iowa is a very good basketball team and they have been for three years," Nebraska coach Connie Yori said of the recent 7-0 run. "They have been in the NCAA Tournament the last two years and they're on track to make that happen again this year. We have played good basketball against them and it's been one of those deals."
A made 3-pointer by UI senior Theairra Taylor with 7:51 left in the first half tied the score, 19-19. Nebraska's Jordan Hooper got a jumper to fall nine seconds later and the Cornhuskers did not trail again. Hooper scored 25 points with 13 rebounds, but an emerging weapon for Nebraska is speedy Tear'a Laudermill, who dropped in a career-high 26 points with four 3-pointers.
"We kind of just went cold," UI head coach Lisa Bluder said.
The Hawkeyes countered with their usual double-figure balance, with one exception. While Logic (22 points), Doolittle (16), Taylor (15), and Ally Disterhoft (12) were above or near their season averages for points, sharpshooting guard Melissa Dixon was held scoreless. In the last three games, Dixon averaged 14.3 points and three 3-pointers per game.
Iowa crept to within 11 at 68-57 when Logic canned a 3-point field goal with 5:45 remaining. Her totals of five 3-pointers and seven 3-point attempts are personal bests.
An announced crowd of 8,021 was on hand to watch the Hawkeyes play their final regular-season weekend home game.
"That was a great crowd we had," Bluder said. "It was terrific support and we appreciate that very, very much."
Logic's numbers were solid once again with eight assists and six rebounds. Disterhoft pulled down a team-leading seven rebounds, three on the offensive end.
While both teams turned the ball over 11 times, Nebraska converted those into 17 points compared to five by the Hawkeyes.
Iowa returns to action Thursday against No. 12 Penn State in State College, Pa. The teams met Jan. 5 in Iowa City with the Hawkeyes coming out on the short end of an 87-71 score. The good news? After that loss Iowa went on to win five of its next six games.
"We know we're up against the wall," Bluder said. "We know we have a tough challenge on the road; we've played well on the road, so hopefully that will hold true."