IOWA CITY – An hour and fifteen minutes prior to tip Sam Logic exited the tunnel and walked onto the hardwood. Barring a few early bird fans, she had Carver-Hawkeye Arena to herself.
More than three hours later, 4,644 rose to their feet to find the exits. Logic stood at midcourt. Next to the scorer’s table, she high-fived each one of her teammates. Finally she flocked to the center of the arena where her teammates huddled on the Tiger Hawk. As they dispersed, Logic lingered on the court. Iowa’s first player to step on it didn’t want to step off.
“Just a little disappointed to lose like that,” Logic said of her walk back to the locker room.
The disappointment came not with finishing one rebound and one assist shy of a triple-double, but of her team’s effort against Michigan, in a 68-64 loss.
“I will say we really played really well and really hard the last four minutes. A lot of people may not have done that,” Logic said. “It wasn’t enough. Knowing we didn’t do enough to win today and it was just a little disappointing to end a seven game winning streak.”
The Wolverines put in enough effort, led by Kate Thompson’s 19 and Rachel Sheffer’s career high 26, to extend their winning streak to eight.
The loss break brings the Hawkeyes back to reality after going 6-0 during the month of December. Three of their seven wins during the streak came against ranked opponents. The lone loss Iowa suffered came on the road against Florida State. Sunday marked just the second loss at home. North Carolina handed Iowa 77-64 loss in Iowa City on Nov. 13.
“We had a good thing going and we let it slip right here today. We’ve got to be ready for every Big Ten opponent,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I just think we weren’t ready today to play. That’s my fault. If they’re not ready to play, that’s my complete responsibility.”
Logic attempted to combat the firepower Michigan presented.
In the first half, Logic teamed up with backcourtmate Melissa Dixon and the duo combined for 17 points. Dixon dropped 11 in the first half and finished with a game high 17. Logic dished out four dimes in the first 20 minutes.
In the second half, Thierra Taylor became Logic’s partner-in-crime. The combo scored 18 second half points and played a role in all but three of Iowa’s 34 second half points.
“[Logic] played amazing. She didn’t take a possession off,” Taylor said. “Honestly, that’s who I fed off late in the game. You see her play, giving it her all, and we’re kind of relaxed back there.”
Iowa’s guards accounted for 53 of the team’s 64 points. Morgan Johnson and Bethany Doolittle struggled to supply any offense or even rebounding. Doolittle finished with one rebound and no points or blocks in 25 minutes of play. Michigan’s 2-3 zone also kept Johnson quiet with 10 points and seven rebounds.
The senior finished 4-7 shooting and 1-4 in the second half. All four of Johnson’s field goals came on assists from Logic.
“They were just clogging the paint so we were looking to keep the ball on the outside, trying to move the post a little bit out,” Johnson said. “They were doing a really good job being physical and making sure I wasn’t able to establish on the block offensively.”
Led by Logic, Iowa brought its urgency to another level with seven minutes remaining. Thompson and Sheffer, who at that time combined for 45 of their team’s 57 points, didn’t score again.
The Hawkeyes scored 19 points in the final seven minutes, Logic had a hand in 13. The former McDonald’s All-American scored eight points, dished out a highlight-reel no-look over-the-shoulder pass to Taylor and set a screen at the foul line to allow Jaime Printy to cash in on a bucket and a foul.
As Printy buried the free throw, it erased 10 of the 12 points Iowa trailed by six minutes earlier.
“I thought (Logic) left everything on the court,” Bluder said. “She was one of those players, she was getting steals for us, taking the ball to the hole. I thought she had great energy on the floor the whole time. That needs to become infectious when somebody is playing like that.”
But Sunday, even 38 minutes of Logic’s everything – 16 points, nine assists, nine rebounds, three steals and a block – wasn’t enough.