Feb. 22, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Senior Jaime Printy and Co. notched their first victory over Purdue in West Lafayette since 1998 on Feb. 17. Now the University of Iowa women's basketball team takes aim at another milestone -- defeating No. 24 Nebraska for the first time as Big Ten foes.
"It's not a very good feeling to not be able to beat a Big Ten team," said Printy, who is winless against the Huskers in four career meetings. "We've beat everybody else in our career, so we're looking forward to getting another crack at them.
"We need to remember what we did well (at Purdue) and what worked for us and come with that same intensity and focus. We were able to beat Purdue on the road, so we should be able to beat Nebraska too."
The Hawkeyes and Huskers square off Sunday at 2 p.m. (CT) inside the Bob Devaney Events Center in Lincoln. Nebraska enters the contest with a 20-6 overall and 10-3 Big Ten record, sitting in second place in the league race.
"We played them well last time. It was a one-point defeat, and I never want to get too excited about defeats by any means or take those almost kind of victories. But at the same time, our team knows that they can play with them, and that's a good thing."
UI head coach Lisa Bluder
"We're playing one of the hottest team in the Big Ten," UI head coach Lisa Bluder said Friday at a news conference in the Media Room inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. "They've won eight straight, and are playing very well."
During the first meeting -- 11 days ago in Iowa City -- the Huskers held off a late Iowa rally, winning 76-75 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes trailed by 12 points with 8:32 remaining before battling back and having three attempts at a game-tying 3-pointer with less than a minute remaining.
"We played them well last time," said Bluder. "It was a one-point defeat, and I never want to get too excited about defeats by any means or take those almost kind of victories. But at the same time, our team knows that they can play with them, and that's a good thing."
Nebraska forward Jordan Hooper, who averages 18.8 points and 8.7 rebounds for the season, was the difference in the first meeting, scoring 29 points on 11-of-23 shooting and grabbing eight boards. Bluder says Iowa needs to know where she is at all times.
"The first game was just too much Hooper," said Bluder. "We have to stay on her constantly and find her in transition."
After scoring a career-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting in the 72-52 victory at 18th-ranked Purdue, Bluder wants to see the same offensive urgency out of sophomore Samantha Logic in Lincoln.
"I know Sam, and she embraces every challenge that we give her and loves it," said Bluder. "It's almost like she lives for those opportunities. I want her to keep being more aggressive offensively like she was in the Purdue game. I think that really helps our team a lot."
Bluder called sophomore Melissa Dixon a "shoe-in" for the Big Ten's Sixth Player of the Year award. The guard is averaging 11.2 points per game in Big Ten action, while ranking second in 3-point percentage (44.9 percent) and 3-pointers made per game (2.7).
"Melissa has been fabulous for us off the bench all year," said Bluder. "I think she is absolutely a shoe-in for the Sixth Player of the Year. I don't even know who would challenge her at this point."
While the victory at Purdue -- the team's seventh win over a ranked opponent -- was an NCAA tournament resume builder, Bluder says Iowa needs to keep winning to lock up a berth.
"Certainly getting any win is a good thing for us right now, and when you get them against a top 25 opponent, it means a lot," she said. "We still need to get some more wins. I definitely think that will help our cause."
Sunday's game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with Kevin Kugler and Stephanie White calling the action.