Storylines galore when Drake, Iowa collide

Women's basketball: Hawkeyes play first game since falling at Iowa State on Dec. 12

Jeff Linder
Published: December 20 2013 | 11:00 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:07 am in
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IOWA CITY -- The plot lines are thick and numerous when the Iowa Hawkeyes face Drake in women's basketball.

You've got the Lisa Bluder storyline: She coached 10 years in Des Moines and feels a little awkward every year when this matchup arrives.

You've got assistant coaches Jan Jensen and Jenni Fitzgerald, who played at Drake, then coached there with Bluder before moving to Iowa City. A replica of Jensen's uniform hangs in the rafters of the Knapp Center.

You've got second-year Drake coach Jennie (Lillis) Baranczyk, who played at Iowa under Bluder from 2000 through 2004 and ranks in the top 15 in five major statistical categories.

Now, you can add the Disterhoft factor.

Ally Disterhoft is a freshman and a key reserve for the Hawkeyes. Her mother, Missy (Slockett) Disterhoft, was a guard at Drake in the late 1980s and played alongside Jensen and Fitzgerald.

"There's a lot of history there," Disterhoft said. "But we view it as another game. We're all pretty excited to get back on the court."

As for Mom?

"She definitely roots for the Hawkeyes now."

With final exams behind, the 25th-ranked Hawkeyes (10-2) play their first game in nine days when they host Drake (5-4) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday.

Tipoff is 4 p.m.

"The Drake game is always more emotional for me," Bluder said. "Our coaches spent time there. There are roots there. We opened the Knapp Center.

"I'll root for Jennie and I'll root for Drake, every game they play each year but one."

Iowa is nine days removed from its last action, an 83-70 loss at Iowa State.

"Practice that next day wasn't much fun," Bluder said. "Winning is fun, then you move on. But you learn more from a loss, and we learned a lot."

Iowa has beaten Drake 11 straight times. The Bulldogs are on a three-game win steak. Kyndal Clark scored 35 points in the Bulldogs' 87-71 victory over SIU-Edwardsville on Tuesday.

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