Hawkeyes Look for a Bounce Back
Jan. 9, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Playing in the Kohl Center in Madison gives the University of Iowa women's basketball team a "special" feeling... and why not? The Hawkeyes have won four straight and eight of their last nine games at Wisconsin.
Iowa looks to make it five in a row Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (CT) in its Big Ten road debut. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington, Mary Murphy and Kara Lentz calling the action.
"We've had some good Hawkeye support up there," UI head coach Lisa Bluder said Wednesday during her news conference in the Media Room inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. "Our team feels really good (about playing there). We've had success, it kind of snowballs, and it's amazing how much confidence and mental aspects can do for a team. Mentally, they feel good playing there.
"That may sound trivial, but I don't think it is. Like when you put on your most favorite pair of jeans... you feel better. It's kind of like going there, we feel pretty good there."
Following its first Big Ten loss of the season -- a 68-64 home setback to Michigan on Jan. 6 -- the Hawkeyes are looking for a bounce back against the Badgers.
"It is important to win at home in the Big Ten, and we let that slip," said senior Jaime Printy, who is averaging 13.8 points on 39.5 percent shooting. "It's really important that this is our bounce back game. Like coach (Jan) Jensen said the other day, the last time we lost, we went undefeated for a month. Hopefully that will reenergize us and get us going again."
Iowa suffered its third setback of the season Nov. 28 at Florida State. The team followed with seven consecutive victories, including wins over No. 22 Iowa State, No. 20 Texas and No. 24 Ohio State.
During their last meeting in Madison, the Hawkeyes rallied for an 85-79 overtime victory on Feb. 2, 2012. The victory was bittersweet, as Printy went down during the contest with a knee injury that ended her season.
Printy has no ill-feelings about returning to the scene of her injury.
"Once I get out there, I'll be fine," said Printy. "I know it's not the floor that did it to me, so I am not worried about it. We've had great games there, and I know it's not the floor's fault."
Sophomore Samantha Logic will have a contingent of fans in her court in Madison, as a bus load of approximately 75 people will make the 100-mile trek west from her hometown of Racine to the Kohl Center.
"We draw really good crowds even without the people from Racine," said Logic. "But having that cheering section is pretty nice, especially when we're on a road floor."
A season ago at Wisconsin, Logic finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists to one turnover. Bluder remembers the game as her coming out party.
"The Wisconsin game last year was kind of her breakout game," said Bluder. "That's when she really took off. Sam has played pretty consistently since that point except maybe some turnovers at the beginning of the year. She has gotten those under control and is doing a great job passing the basketball."
During the first eight games of the season, Logic had 54 assists to 46 turnovers (1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio). Over the last eight contests, she has cut her turnover number in half (59 assists/25 turnovers) to double her assist-to-turnover ratio to 2.4. The sophomore is averaging 10.3 assists over the last four contests.
The Hawkeyes will have to contend with an Iowa native in Badger guard Morgan Paige. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native is leading the team with a 16.5 scoring average.
"As she goes, a lot of times Wisconsin goes," said Bluder. "She loves shooting the ball and is a good shooter. We're going to have to do a good job defensively on her. That is the key to the game."
Wisconsin enters the game with an 8-7 overall record and an 0-2 mark in Big Ten play.