IOWA CITY — Now it’s getting dicey.
Three straight losses have moved the Iowa Hawkeyes into the second division of the Big Ten women’s basketball race.
An NCAA Tournament bid, which seemed a slam dunk two weeks ago, is no longer a sure thing. The Hawkeyes (16-8 overall, 5-5 Big Ten) are approaching bubble status.
“The season’s not over, but we have to start doing something now,” senior Jaime Printy said after the Hawkeyes lost at Minnesota on Thursday. “We have three great opportunities (this) week so we have to come out strong.”
The first “great opportunity” is Monday, against Nebraska. Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa hit the skids with losses to Illinois, Northwestern and Minnesota. Now comes a much more difficult stretch — Nebraska and Penn State at home, Purdue and Nebraska on the road.
“Definitely a very difficult (stretch),” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “You’re looking at three teams in the conference that last year we didn’t have a lot of success against.”
Nebraska (17-6, 7-3) is one of those teams. The Huskers swept the Hawkeyes last year.
“I think their pressure defense is really good,” Bluder said. “I heard they’re doing some kind of strange zone that’s very different for (coach) Connie (Yori).”
Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore average 19.0 and 15.0 points per game, respectively, for Nebraska.
Printy moved up to No. 5 on the career scoring chart at Iowa on Thursday. She has scored 1,754 points.
NEBRASKA (17-6, 7-3) at IOWA (16-8, 5-5)
Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City
Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. Monday
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: WMT-AM (600), KXIC-AM (800)
Notable: The Hawkeyes are reeling; their three straight losses are a season-long skid that has pushed them to seventh place in the Big Ten. Jaime Printy scored 21 points in a 72-60 loss to Minnesota on Thursday. The effort moved Printy into fifth all-time in career scoring at Iowa, with 1,754 points. Morgan Johnson also moved up the career scoring list to 11th, with 1,440, and became the seventh player in Iowa history with 800-plus rebounds. Jordan Hooper leads Nebraska at 19 points per game.