By Jason Brummond, Correspondent
IOWA CITY — The Iowa women’s basketball team’s remarkable run continues, thanks to two freshmen on Senior Day.
The Hawkeyes, backed into a corner at the start of the month after losing their best player and desperately needing wins to improve their postseason chances, finished February with a 7-0 mark after a 79-71 win over Michigan on Sunday afternoon.
Two freshmen shined as Iowa honored five seniors at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Sam Logic recorded only the fourth triple-double in school history with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists, and Melissa Dixon scored a career-high 22 points on six 3-pointers.
“This game was important for us for so many reasons,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “When you think of where we were a month ago, to think we’re tied for second in the conference is amazing. I’m really happy for our seniors to be able to enjoy this win.”
Iowa (19-10, 11-5 Big Ten) earned the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye in this week’s Big Ten Tournament. The Hawkeyes will play Northwestern or Nebraska on Friday.
Logic is only the third player in school history to record a triple-double, which is also her fourth straight game with a double-double. She played 38 minutes and only had one turnover.
Logic recorded half of the team’s assists to help the Hawkeyes break the single-season school record with 476 assists. The previous mark was 468 set in 2010 and 2003.
“The assists are all my teammates,” Logic said. “If they don’t make the shot then I don’t get one. There’s not a bad person to pass to.”
Dixon scored 16 of her 22 points in the first half. The guard, who replaced the injured Jamie Printy in the starting lineup, hit two 3-pointers during a key stretch at the end of the first half and finished 6 of 15 from the perimeter.
“I think in transition we had a lot of open shots and we were moving the ball around pretty well,” Dixon said.
Senior Kamille Wahlin had 19 points, five rebounds and five assists for Iowa. Another senior, Kelly Krei, added five points and seven rebounds.
Michigan (19-10, 8-8) made several runs to get back into the game in the second half. The Wolverines cut the deficit to 59-53 with 10:35 left, but couldn’t get any closer.
The Hawkeyes trailed the bulk of a tight first half, but closed the period on a 14-2 surge in the final 4 1/2 minutes to take a 45-34 halftime lead.
Iowa’s NCAA Tournament chances looked bleak four weeks ago, when the Hawkeyes were 11-10 with a losing conference record and then-No. 13 Purdue coming to Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes’ defense shut down the Boilermakers in a 59-42 statement win. Four days later, in an overtime victory at Wisconsin, top scorer Printy suffered a season-ending ACL tear.
But Iowa kept winning. The Hawkeyes have won eight straight Big Ten games for the first time in four years, virtually securing a fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
“We’ve rode the momentum and we’ve enjoyed it,” Bluder said. “I think this team always really believed it. We looked at our schedule and we really felt like we could do it.”Kate Thompson scored 14 points off the bench to lead Michigan.