IOWA CITY — For the past seven years, the Iowa Hawkeyes have owned Wisconsin in women’s basketball.
“I think in the past, for the most part, we’ve just had a better team,” said Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder.
The Hawkeyes have beaten Wisconsin 12 straight times, with the Badgers’ last win coming during the 2006-07 season. Iowa’s dominance includes five consecutive triumphs at the Kohl Center in Madison.
That’s where they’ll meet again Sunday, with a noon tipoff.
Bluder feels this is the best Wisconsin team since the streak began.
“They’ve got now what they’ve been missing lately, and that’s a post,” Bluder said.
Michala Johnson, a transfer from Connecticut, is a 6-foot-3 junior who leads the Badgers (8-6 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) at 15.4 points per game.
Since the teams don’t play at Iowa City this year, this could be UW senior guard Morgan Paige’s final crack at the Hawkeyes (13-4, 1-2). Paige is a Marion High School alum and averages 13.4 points per contest.
“Morgan will look a lot to score, by shooting the 3-pointer or by driving,” Bluder said. “She’s very, very capable of putting up a lot of points.”
Johnson, Paige and Taylor Wurtz give the Badgers three good options, a change of pace from what Iowa has seen recently with Penn State (dominated by Maggie Lucas) and Minnesota (same story, Rachel Banham).
“Our last two opponents had superstars,” Bluder said. “This team is a little more balanced.”
Iowa ended a two-game losing streak Wednesday, coming on late to beat Minnesota 78-71 for its first Big Ten victory.
Hawkeyes guard Samantha Logic is a Wisconsin native, growing up in Racine, and figures to have a big following at the Kohl Center on Sunday.
Logic is second on the team in scoring (to Melissa Dixon) and ranks No. 2 all-time at Iowa in assists for a career.