By Shane Carney, The Gazette
IOWA CITY – Coming off a two-game road trip, the Iowa Hawkeyes were looking to extend their winning streak Thursday night against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. They got their fourth straight win in impressive fashion, 75-58.
The Hawkeyes (15-10, 7-5) imposed their will in the paint against the Gophers (12-14, 4-8) not only with their scoring, but also ripping down rebound after rebound.
“We did a great job on the boards,” said Coach Lisa Bluder. “The key to the victory was we had to do a good job on the boards. I thought we did a tremendous job.”
Tremendous could very well be an understatement. The Hawks’ 29 defensive rebounds were three better than the Gophers’ total rebounds for the night. Freshman Samantha Logic and senior Kelly Krei led Iowa with nine each.
Minnesota was able to hang with the Hawkeyes for the first eight minutes of the game, trailing only by one point at 11-10.
But with good effort on the defensive boards and good ball movement on the offensive end, Iowa went on a 17-2 run beginning with just less than ten minutes to go in the first half. From then on the Hawks put on a clinic, shooting over 44 percent from the field and hitting seven shots from beyond the arc.
“With our offense anyone can get a good look at a shot at anytime,” said Logic.
The Hawkeyes started the second half with a 15-point lead and would not allow it to get below 14 points the rest of the game.
That lead would allow for two Hawkeyes earn themselves a couple of personal records.
Junior Morgan Johnson scored 23 points and joined Iowa’s 1,000 career points club.
“It is a very elite honor and I am very proud of that accomplishment,” said Johnson. “But I could not do it without the support from my coaches and my teammates.
Senior Kamille Wahlin needed just four assists coming into the game to become the first player in Iowa history to record 400 career assists and 200 3-pointers. She got five and became the fourth player in history with more than 400 assists.
The Hawkeyes hope this win will give them some momentum heading into Sunday’s crucial match against Michigan State.
Iowa is a half-game behind the Spartans (7-4) in the Big Ten standing, and this will be their only regular season match-up. And it’s not too soon to be thinking about seeding position for the Big Ten tournament.
“I think we have a good feel right now,” Bluder said. “We’ve won four in a row (and) we’re playing at home again.
“I think we’re positioning ourselves well for these last games.”