IOWA CITY — If you want to call it a “trap game,” feel free.
Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder chose to avoid that ESPN-centric cliche, but classified Wednesday’s contest against Missouri State as “one of those games you have to be cautious about.”
Look behind, and the Hawkeyes (8-3) see their three-game sweep of their in-state sisters. Look ahead, and they see a trip to San Diego approaching, then the Big Ten season.
They would be well-served to look in the present.
“With all the adrenalin we’ve used in wrapping up the state championship, and with the fact that the kids are close to going home for Christmas, this could be a tough, tough game,” Bluder said Tuesday. ”We have to be fully prepared.”
Tipoff is 5:30 Wednesday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It marks the final non-conference home game for the Hawkeyes.
Missouri State has been a handful for the Hawkeyes in the past, winning four of seven games against Iowa. This year’s team is 6-3, winning the games you’d expect it to win, with losses against Oklahoma State, Gonzaga and Missouri.
“They don’t have that highlight win, but they demolished Arkansas State (83-60, on Saturday),” Bluder said. “They have four players in double figures, and they’ll pose some matchup problems for us.”
Whitney Edie and Christiana Shorter average 14.7 and 14.6 points per game for the Bears.
Iowa is coming off an efficient win at Drake on Sunday, accumulating 23 assists to eight turnovers in an 82-65 triumph.
“We’re sharing the ball, and the offense is running much smoother,” Bluder said. “As a coach, you’re never completely happy, but I think it’s coming.
“Kali Peschel grew as a player Sunday, and Trisha Nesbitt played extremely well.”
Nesbitt scored a career-high 12 points, complementing a 26-point outing by post Morgan Johnson, who leads the Hawkeyes at 18.1 points per game.