IOWA CITY– The Hawkeyes have four games left in the regular season. They went into the Wisconsin game last week with 16 wins, 10 in the Big Ten conference.
It looks like they will need to win at least three games to get a shot at the Big Dance which would give them 19 wins for the season.
They picked up two with victories over the Badgers and Wolverines last week.
Nobody said it would be easy, and the 72-65 win over Wisconsin last Thursday at Carver showed that to be true.
Iowa didn’t match Wisconsin’s intensity in the first half and trailed 32-30.
Unforced turnovers and missed opportunities had the Badgers (15-10, 5-11 in the Big Ten) ready for their first win against Iowa in six tries.
“I thought we started the second half with a lot more intensity,” said head coach Lisa Bluder. “We shot the ball extremely well this half. One of the keys we talked about is that we had to win the rebounding war and I’m really happy that we won that 35-22.”
The Hawks went on an 11-0 to start the second half and held off a late Badger rally for their 17th win.
Once again, Iowa’s balance paid off with five players (Kachine, Wendy and Megan with 15, Kristi and Kamille with 13 and 10 respectively) scoring in double figures.
The Hawkeyes also shot a season best 57% from the field and made 20-24 free throws.
“We are very good when we get to the free throw line,” said the coach. “We’re an excellent free throw shooting team. We’re the fourth-best in the country. That’s something that we really count on as a part of our offense, getting to the free throw line.”
Iowa’s double-trouble player, Kachine Alexander, came up with 12 rebounds and five assists to go along with her 15 points.
Kach continues to out-jump and out-hustle bigger post players and keeps proving she is one of the best players in the league.
The win at Michigan and Indiana’s loss to Ohio State on Sunday guaranteed Iowa will not have to play on Thursday during the Big Ten tournament.
I really like the senior leadership on this team. Wendy, Kristi and Megan combined for 40 points in the Hawkeyes' 18th win of the season. They are 11-5 in the Big Ten.
Those three seniors are on their way to becoming the highest scoring trio in the history of the Big Ten. They only need six more points to break the record of 4,063 points set by three Purdue seniors in 1988.
Wendy is the vocal leader of the three, while Kristi and Megan do their talking on the court by their solid play.
Lindsey Nyenhuis, also a senior, has such great energy from the bench that you would think she has played in every game; plus Nicole VanderPol, whose injury forced her to end her season after four games, is still giving support from the bench.
Solid board work, 50-32, in favor of Iowa, and tough defense were keys to the win as Michigan shot only 40% for the game.