March 19, 2014
Editor's Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa's Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa women's basketball team has enjoyed a special 2013-14 campaign, and it is not done yet.
There have been numerous significant milestones and achievements over the past four months:
Iowa, the Big Ten leader in overall victories, has won 26 games this season (26-8), marking the highest total under head coach Lisa Bluder, and the highest since Iowa finished 27-4 in 1995-96.
Bluder surpassed C. Vivian Stringer as Iowa's all-time winningest coach on Feb. 10 as the Hawkeyes defeated Northwestern, 90-84, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Logic notched three triple-doubles this season, becoming the first Big Ten player to record three triple-doubles in a single season. She also surpassed Cara Consuegra (1997-2001; 576 assists) as Iowa's all-time assists leader during the team's win at Illinois on March 2 in the regular season finale, and notched a game-high 19 points in Iowa's win at Michigan on Feb. 22, becoming the 31st 1,000-point scorer in program history.
The list goes on, and on Monday night, another significant achievement became official, when it was announced the Hawkeyes will be dancing for a seventh-straight season.
"It is always fun," said Bluder upon seeing the Hawkeyes appear on the bracket during the NCAA Selection Show. "We have been to the tournament a lot, and that is great, but you still get excited for every Selection Show."
The 19th-ranked Hawkeyes (26-8, 11-5) are a No. 6 seed and will play 11th-seeded Marist (27-6, 18-2) from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference at approximately 7 p.m. (CT) on Sunday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game will be televised live on ESPN2.
"It was exciting to see our name come up," said Disterhoft. "We have a great opportunity playing at home, and are looking forward to great fan support."
"We are excited," said senior Theairra Taylor. "We have great balance, and it is important to have that heading into the tournament."
This year marks Iowa's 23rd trip to the NCAA Tournament. Bluder has led the Hawkeyes to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances in her 14 years at Iowa, including each of the last seven seasons.
Iowa is the only Big Ten team, and one of only 14 teams in the country, to appear in the last seven NCAA Tournaments.
Another team in that group? Marist.
The Red Foxes are making their ninth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance following their ninth-consecutive and 10th overall Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championship title.
"We are going to play a great Marist team in the first round," said Disterhoft. "We are looking to have a great week of practice heading into Sunday."
"Marist is a good team," said Doolittle. "We have played Sydney Coffey's sister, Nia of Northwestern, those two are good players. We are going up against a very good team, and are excited we have the opportunity to play at home in Carver-Hawkeye Arena."
The Hawkeyes will have two weeks between games. Iowa last played March 9 in the Big Ten Tournament title game in Indianapolis.
"We have been working hard every day in practice," said Doolittle, who has tallied 104 blocks this season, the most in a single season in program history. "We will be ready."
Fans can order tickets by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS, visiting the Carver-Hawkeye Arena ticket office, or by visiting hawkeyesports.com.