IOWA CITY – It’s a record that will never be broken, because it’s a record that will never exist. Melissa Dixon’s seven 3-pointers against Quincy was the most by an Iowa player in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It also tied the most 3-pointers in program history. The problem is none of her seven 3s count. And her 28 points are as good as scoring 100 in practice.
“There should be a little asterisk,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said.
It may not have counted but Dixon’s game led the Hawkeyes to a 86-51 win over Quincy in an exhibition game on Sunday.
Dixon played a part in main story line entering the game. She started because senior Jaime Printy, the team’s leading scorer from a year ago, was sidelined due to a hamstring injury. Dixon, like she did last year, took the baton and ran with it.
“She’s used to it because she did it for us last year for us, she stepped in the same way last year when she went into the starting lineup when Jaime came out,” Bluder said. “We have so much confidence with Melissa shooting the ball. It’s never something we hesitate with.”
The Hawkeyes entered halftime up by 18 and early in the second half, Quincy brought it down to 16, before Dixon caught fire. The sophomore drained back-to-back 3s to make pull the Hawkeyes up by 22.
Four minutes later she topped that. The sophomore guard sank back-to-back-to-back 3s, posing with her hand in the cookie jar on the final one that gave Iowa a 26 point lead.
“Yeah, I was feeling good today,” Dixon said.
Dixon’s night overshadowed fellow guard Sam Logic’s 13 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and five assists. Morgan Johnson chipped in 12 points and nine rebounds. The trio outscored Quincy by itself 53-51.
“I feel like our guards did a great job tonight; and the in-out look was working really, really well,” Johnson said. “So I feel like just getting the ball to them was really important.”
After the three 3s, Quincy called a timeout in an attempt to extinguish Dixon’s hot streak. Only Bluder could quiet Dixon’s night. After the stoppage, Bluder sat the guard to get others in the game, another result of the game not counting.
“We wanted to make sure that everybody had an opportunity to play today if we could,” Bluder said. ”And that’s not something that we’re really focusing on. It was more trying to get some combinations in. And I don’t know she might have been dead tired at that point, I’m not sure.”
Iowa has five days before it opens the season at home against Northern Illinois. Bluder said after the Sunday’s win she expects Printy to be back in the lineup for the Huskies when the stats count.
And Dixon will have a chance to hold a record without any asterisks.
Said Bluder, “She can get it Friday night, that’s the challenge.”
Quincy came to Iowa City boasting a 6-2 and a 6-4 center, which meant the Hawkeyes could really kick the tires on their double-center lineup. Iowa started both Morgan Johnson and Bethany Doolittle. Each were actually undersized at times, more Johnson who primarily played the five position.
“You know, they had me a little bit size‑wise a little bit bigger than me. But you just go in there and you treat each game the same,” Johnson said. ”And I think they did a good job of pushing me off the block a little bit, pushing me and Beth off the block a little bit, which altered our shot some.”
Still Johnson came up a rebound shy of a double-double. Doolittle finished with eight points and four rebounds in 25 minutes of play. She shot 3 of 8 from the field. She also led the team with two blocks. She was relegated to the perimeter at times on defense when Quincy went small.
Iowa dominated in the paint, doubling the Hawks up in points inside 36-18. The Hawkeyes held only a slight advantage in rebounding though, 39-33, which shows the new sets are still a work in progress.
“I think it’s getting better. I feel each time out we’re getting a little better, getting better at offsetting the post a little bit,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it feels 100 percent natural yet, but I feel like we’re getting closer.”
Guards assisting offense
With Dixon’s fireworks from the outside and Iowa sampling its new personnel set inside, Sam Logic’s game nearly went unnoticed. The sophomore guard put in 13 points, seven rebounds, dished out seven assists and swiped five pockets.
The stats placed her second on the team in points and rebounds, while she led the team in steals and assists. She did all this in 27 minutes and while committing one turnover.
“Seven assists I love to see. You know, I thought she led us well. I thought she was strong out there. I thought she was under control,” Bluder said. “I thought defensively she had some nice steals at half court that we haven’t seen from her last year. So I thought she was kind of added that part to her game, which was fun.”
The seven assists were part of 24 Iowa totaled as a team. They came on 34 made field goals.
“That’s something we look at. We love assists. To me, assists is team basketball,” Bluder said. “Assists are going to give us higher percentage shots, because if you’re getting good assists that means you’re usually passing to somebody who is open. You’re getting that open shot which is a higher percentage shot.”
The game was close early, with Quincy trailing by two midway through the first. Logic reentered the game and found Johnson for a jumper that pushed the lead to four. Out of the under 8 timeout, Logic hit a jumper to push it to eight. The points ignited a 22-4 run that put the game away.
“Sam, she’s two things. She’s a great leader, can see the floor extremely well,” Johnson said. “I have confidence with her having the ball, handling the ball and handling pressure and have confidence in her as a leader.”