By Don Lund
The women’s and men’s basketball team had two wins last week, plus the wrestlers dominated both of their matches.
The women started it out with a home win against Minnesota last Wednesday.
I don’t know if Iowa’s 78-71 victory against the Gophers was a must-win, but it was pretty close.
The Hawks started the season 0-2 including a loss at home against 15th-ranked Penn State, so to start 0-3 with two home losses would be tough to overcome.
Once again, the Gophers were bigger and out-rebounded the Hawkeyes 32-26, but Iowa hit more free throws (26-8), had more points off turnovers (22-5), more fast break points (10-0), more bench points (13-2) and surprisingly more points in the paint (32-24).
Bethany Doolittle (19 points) and Theairra Taylor (20) did a great job of not only driving to the basket and scoring, but drawing fouls.
Bethany was 9-10 from the free throw line and that’s the most free throws she has ever shot and made in a game.
When the Hawks are passing the ball and making their cuts on offense, they create open looks and are tough to stop.
No one in the Big Ten is better at setting up her teammates than Samantha Logic, who leads the Big Ten in assists, averaging over eight per game.
Samantha had eight assists, 13 points, eight rebounds, five steals and played all 40 minutes against the Gophers.
No wonder she was a top-10 recruit coming out of high school.
“This is important to us,” said head coach Lisa Bluder. “After an 0-2 start it was important to us to get a win.”
The Hawkeyes picked up their second Big Ten win on the road Sunday, cruising over Wisconsin, 82-65.
Once again balanced scoring, with four Hawks in double-figures, dominating the boards (39-28) and fast break points (16-4) gave Iowa a 14-4 overall record, 2-2 in the Big Ten.
That’s the first time the Hawks have out-rebounded a Big Ten team.
The Badgers held Melissa Dixon to three points and she didn’t attempt a 3-point shot.
Iowa countered with Ally Disterhoft coming off the bench and scoring a career-high 20 points, with Bethany adding 20, Samantha 16 and Theairra 13.
Men on a Roll
Fran McCaffery had to watch the Northwestern game from his office while serving a one-game suspension, so assistant coach Kirk Speraw took the Hawks to a 93-67 win over Wildcats Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
I’ve had a chance to talk to Kirk a couple of times, and he not only knows the game but is a home-grown Hawkeye and two-year letter winner for Iowa in 1978-79.
Kirk also was head coach for the University of Central Florida for 17 years.
Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, the Hawks dominated the Wildcats, losing only three times in 20 years.
Can you believe before last year, the Hawkeyes had a five-game losing streak against the Wildcats?
Last season, Iowa beat Northwestern three times including one in the Big Ten Tournament.
This year it was too much size, as Iowa won the rebound battle, 41-28; too much speed as Iowa won the fast break points 17-2; and great outside shooting. Iowa was 8-14 for 3-pointers.
It’s hard to single out anybody with four players in double-figures and two, Melsahn Basabe and Aaron White, with 10 rebounds.
Iowa was passing the ball well, with 22 assists on 29 field goals and their defense was solid. The ‘Cats shot 39 percent from the floor and 21 percent from 3-point range.
In other words, it was a good team win.
What a great 84-74 win over Ohio State Sunday.
You had a nationally televised game, the Buckeyes were ranked third in the nation and had beaten the Hawkeyes eight straight times.
Iowa has struggled from the free throw line late in close games.
Not this time, as the Hawkeyes were 18-24 from the line in the second half including 8-12 in the final two minutes.
Balanced scoring, as the Hawks had five in double-figures, fast break points (Iowa 15, OSU 4) and the Hawkeyes won the board battle, 40-31.
Devyn Marble and Aaron White are a great one-two punch for Iowa.
Devyn played 33 minutes, scored 22 points and had four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
“He was just all over the place,” said coach McCaffery. “I’m just so happy for Devyn. He’s an incredibly hard worker and phenomenal captain. I pulled him aside with about a minute-twenty to go and said, ‘Come on now, let’s get us home,’ and he said, ‘I got it coach, we’re good.’ and he did.”
Devyn was named conference Player of the Week for his efforts.
It was the first time Devyn has won that honor.
Aaron played 32 minutes, scored 19 points, had six boards, two assists and had two blocks.
Josh Oglesby and Jarrod Uthoff hit some big threes coming off the bench while Melsahn Basabe finished strong with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Mel came up with some big baskets and had all his rebounds in the second half. Iowa is sitting at 14-3, 3-1 in the Big Ten.