Feb. 13, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa women's basketball players vowed to live in the present Wednesday, the day before eighth-ranked Penn State makes a trip to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
For the Hawkeyes, there is no looking back at four straight setbacks that leaves them with a record of 16-9 overall, 5-6 in the Big Ten Conference. There is no looking forward to games against Purdue, Nebraska, Indiana, and Northwestern, all results that will weigh heavily on Iowa's postseason fate.
It is complete focus on the Nittany Lions (20-3, 10-1), who have won three straight games and 14 of their last 15.
"We've talked about it a lot lately," UI sophomore guard Melissa Dixon said. "Focusing on the now and not worrying about the past, not worrying about the future yet, staying in the present, working hard and doing what we can do now to get better."
Penn State has won the last three meetings in the series, including a 68-52 decision last season in State College, Pa. This season the Nittany Lions have lost at Miami, at Connecticut, and at Wisconsin. On Thursday, they will be at Iowa City.
"We've talked about it a lot lately. Focusing on the now and not worrying about the past, not worrying about the future yet, staying in the present, working hard and doing what we can do now to get better."
UI sophomore guard
After hosting Penn State, the Hawkeyes have just one regular-season home game remaining: Thursday, Feb. 28, against the Hoosiers.
Six of Iowa's 16 victories have come against nationally ranked opposition, including Iowa State, Ohio State, and Purdue -- all on Mediacom Court.
"It's a great opportunity," UI sophomore Samantha Logic said. "It helps us bring focus -- a top 10 team at home. You have to be ready in all aspects, and we're going to look to take advantage of it."
Penn State is led by junior guard Maggie Lucas, who averages nearly 20 points and three 3-point field goals per game. Senior guard Alex Bentley averages 13.7 points, 3.7 steals, and 3.5 assists per game.
"This is obviously a good team," Bluder said. "They're not just an offensive team, they're a very good defensive team. (Penn State) is a big team, an athletic team, a quick team, very good in transition, so we're going to have our work cut out for us."
"We're the underdog again, and we're pretty excited to play a top-ranked team again," UI senior Jaime Printy said.
Printy a finalist for 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award
Printy's 14.4 per game scoring average, 92.4 free throw percentage, and 49 made 3-pointers makes her one of the top players around. Combined with what she does off the court has made Printy a finalist for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas: community, classroom, character, and competition.
"It shows that there is more to life than basketball," Printy said. "It's off the court and having an impact on little girls' lives, and people around the country, so it's an honor to be on there."
Other finalists are Brittany Chambers (Kansas State), Layshia Clarendon (California), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Jacqui Kalin (Northern Iowa), Kevi Luper (Oral Roberts), Anna Martin (DePaul), Drey Mingo (Purdue), and Chelsea Poppens (Iowa State).
"It speaks volumes because (Jaime) has done a great job in all of those categories," Bluder said. "She does a great job in the classroom and as a community servant. I think she enjoys the opportunity to be a role model."
Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner. More information on the finalists can be found at seniorCLASSaward.com.