By Don Lund
Iowa rolled over the Marist Red Foxes, 87-65, Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a first-round victory in the NCAA tournament.
The game was supposed to be close because the Red Foxes had five players averaging in double figures like the Hawks. They were 27-6 coming into the game, Iowa was 26-8, they were a good passing team and played good defense.
There were a few things missing.
Marist didn’t play in the Big Ten, one of the toughest conferences in America, they didn’t have anyone to match up with Bethany Doolittle or Theairra Taylor and no one has a player like Samantha Logic.
Every game you expect Samantha to get a triple double, and Sunday she came close with 11 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. She might have had one more rebound but she took an elbow in the mouth in the second half and had to sit out for a couple of minutes.
Not to worry, as the Hawkeyes shot 62 percent in the second half, including 8-12 from 3-point range, increasing an eight-point halftime lead to a 22-point win.
“I think we wore them down a little bit,” said head coach Lisa Bluder about the second half run. “I think we were able to push on them in the first half. Their numbers weren’t as good in the second half and people were able to score on them. We thought if we could keep the tempo going it would be a good thing.”
Theairra has been on a roll for the last 13 games. The lone senior has scored in double figures in 11 of those games including a team-high 22 against Marist. She also had seven rebounds and three steals.
Bethany was so much quicker then any Red Fox.
The 6-4 junior scored the first basket of the game and finished with 21 points, going 9-15 from the floor.
How about Melissa Dixon? She picked up two quick fouls in the first half, played only six minutes and didn’t score.
In the second half, Melissa shoots five times, makes four (including three 3-pointers) and scores 12.
Ally Disterhoft had 10 and Iowa has the starting five in double figures.
What else is new?
I liked the play off the bench with Kali Peschel scoring eight and grabbing six boards.
Claire Till had three tough rebounds and hit a three.
Iowa now has 27 wins, which still amazes me.
That’s the most wins since the Hawks finished 27-4 in 1996.
Ally has scored in double figures in 15 of 16 starts and Iowa is 13-3 in the last 16 games.
By the time you read this, the Hawkeyes will have played Louisville Tuesday.
The Cardinals are big, long, talented and ranked fourth in the country.
I hope that Carver magic came through.