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Don Lund

So close

Hawk Talk

I’m not big into moral victories, but Iowa fought the heavily-favored Wisconsin Badgers to a knock-down, drag-out 26-24 loss Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
If the Hawks convert their second two-point conversion with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter... Iowa had just scored and trailed 19-17.
The Badgers were favored by 10 and I don’t know anyone except Bob Brooks and KCRG’s Scott Saville that picked the Hawkeyes to win.
When Iowa went into halftime down 16-3, I was ready to throw in the towel.
Thanks, Iowa, for proving me wrong.

Iowa women win Hawkeye challenge

The Hawkeye women opened up their Hawkeye Challenge by knocking off Pepperdine 97-68 Friday night.
Melissa Dixon went 6-11 on 3-pointers, scored 20 points and Samantha Logic had 12 points and nine assists, but it was the freshmen that stepped up.
Whitney Jennings showed why she was named Miss Basketball at Indiana last year. The 5’6” freshman scored 11 points, had five assists, no turnovers and three steals.
Christina Buttenham was 3-3 from 3-point range, had three assists and one steal.
Chase Coley and Carly Mohns combined for seven points and 10 rebounds.

Crazy weekend for the Hawks

It was another one of those crazy weekends for Hawkeye fans and me.
It started last Thursday as the Hawkeye men’s basketball team played Texas in Madison Square Garden and lost to the Longhorns, 71-57.
Friday morning, starting at 9 a.m., the Iowa wrestlers beat Baker University 55-0, Iowa Central 49-3, and Cornell 55-0 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Friday afternoon the men’s basketball team played Syracuse at 4 p.m. at Madison Square Garden, lost 66-63, and then the Hawk women played Pepperdine at Carver at 7:30 p.m. and they won, 97-68.

What a difference a week makes

Hawk Talk

The bipolar Hawkeye football team took the north route in Saturday’s 30-14 win at Illinois.
To say the win was the biggest of the season would be close, but the 48-7 win over Northwestern was even better since the Wildcats upset Notre Dame 43-40 in overtime at South Bend at the same time Iowa was beating Illinois.
Iowa will be underdogs in its final two home games with Wisconsin and Nebraska.
In the last five games, Iowa has beaten Indiana 45-29, lost to Maryland 38-31, beat Northwestern 48-7, got crushed by Minnesota 51-14 and then beat Illinois 30-14.

Record win for Hawk women

The Iowa Hawkeye women’s basketball team started in 1974, which was also my first year of being a student at Iowa.
I don’t remember going to many games and the Hawkeyes didn’t have a winning season until 1978-79, when they finished 18-11.
Vivian Stringer came on the scene in 1983 and she helped turn Iowa into a national power.
When Lisa Bluder came on board in 2000 she promised an up-tempo game and balanced scoring.
The Hawk women opened up the weekend with the best scoring output ever in the history of Iowa women’s basketball with a 107-56 romp over USC Upstate.

Hawkeye men open strong

The Iowa men, playing in the second game Friday at Carver, picked up a 90-56 win over Hampton, had five players in double-figures and won the rebound battle, 48-32.
I said before he season that Jarrod Uthoff, Peter Jok and Trey Dickerson would be the three wild cards that could help Iowa get to the next level.
Jarrod started, only played 19 minutes, hit 4-5 from 3-point range and scored 13 points.
Peter came off the bench, played 17 minutes and scored 11 points.
Coach Fran McCaffery said Peter has improved his defense a lot and could start at some point.

Nightmare on Elm (Gopher) Street

Hawk Talk

One of the many things I have wondered about in sports is how does a team, that’s made of the same players, look so good one week and then look like somebody else the next?
That’s what happened Saturday at Gopherland as the Hawkeyes got smoked by Minnesota, 51-14.
The week before, the headlines in the Gazette read “A NEAR PERFECT EFFORT” in Iowa’s 48-7 win over Indiana.
This week the headline read “A whipping up north.”
After the Indiana win, there were hardly any negative messages on almost all of the Hawkeye message boards.

Hawkeye women open strong

I know Iowa’s 119-57 win last Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena was against St. Ambrose, an NAIA school, but there are a lot of good things to like about the victory.
I was a little surprised when Whitney Jennings started in place of Melissa Dixon, but Lisa Bluder, Iowa’s head coach, said Melissa was injured early on and is just starting to get back on track.
Melissa came off the bench and had 19 points in 19 minutes including five 3-pointers.
I really liked what the four freshmen brought to the game.

Iowa wrestlers ranked No. 1 in preseason poll

Could this be the year the Hawkeyes break out with an NCAA championship?
It’s been four years since Iowa stood on top of the college wrestling world.
Brent Metcalf (149) and Jay Borschel (174) plus redshirt freshman Matt McDonough (125) each won titles that year.
The Hawks have nine wrestlers ranked in the top 10 according to Intermat.
It starts at 125 with Thomas Gilman ranked fourth.
Thomas was 16-3 last year but gave way to Cory Clark, who moved up to 133.
Thomas is more of a technical wrestler while Cory reminds me of Tony Ramos, who won the title last year at 133.

Bowl Committee

Hawk Talk

I had a good feeling last week before Iowa hosted Northwestern Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
After Iowa played one of its worst games in a couple of years against Maryland and lost 38-31 two weeks ago, I thought Iowa would bounce back against the Wildcats.
Why?
Kirk Ferentz might not be the best coach ever, but he is a stand-up guy and the players respect him.
Also Iowa has some great leaders, especially the four captains.
You start with All American Brandon Scherff, who led the offensive line to its best day... no sacks and the Hawkeye running backs averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

Hawkeye women think big

The Iowa Hawkeye women won 27 games last year, which tied for the second-most in school history.
The Hawks finished second in the Big Ten Tournament and return four starters, including all-world point guard Samantha Logic.
Iowa led the Big Ten in scoring and assists, plus the Hawks set a school record for scoring offense in 2013-2014, averaging 78.2 points per game.
The Hawkeyes are ranked 19th in the preseason AP top-25 poll.
So when I say there was excitement and optimism at media day last Thursday, you can see why.

A little short

Hawk Talk

When I did the preseason schedule and Maryland was on it, I have to admit I don’t ever remember seeing the Terrapins play football.
The preseason magazines said they had some great wide receivers, a good quarterback and a great kicking game. They were right!
I thought Maryland would score against the Hawks, but I also thought Iowa could score against them.
I was kind of right as the Maryland offense scored 31 points, Iowa scored 31 but a pick-six by the Terrapins ended up being the difference in the game; Maryland 38, Iowa 31.
Dropped passes, penalties and poor tackling.