Hawkeye women look to solve a Big Red puzzle

Women's basketball: Iowa is 0-6 vs. the Huskers since they joined the Big Ten

Jeff Linder
Published: January 31 2014 | 8:00 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:55 am in

IOWA CITY -- Lincoln, Iowa City, Indianapolis. Hasn't mattered.

Regardless of site, regardless of time, Nebraska has owned the Iowa Hawkeyes in women's basketball since its arrival in the Big Ten.

"They've been a thorn in our side," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder acknowledged.

The Hawkeyes are 0-6 against Big Red since the Huskers joined the Big Ten fold. Nebraska has beaten Iowa twice in Lincoln, twice in Iowa City and has eliminated the Hawkeyes from the last two Big Ten tournaments.

Iowa (17-5 overall, 5-3 Big Ten) gets another shot Saturday; tipoff is 2 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"When a team has beaten you like that, you've got to have a lot of anxiousness to play them, a lot of intensity," said Iowa guard Samantha Logic. "This is a new team, and we can't think of what has happened in the past."

The Hawkeyes have won five of their last six games, their best Big Ten run since winning eight in a row to conclude the 2011-12 league slate.

"We're feeling pretty good about ourselves right now," Bluder said.

They'll be feeling better if they can finally solve the Huskers (14-5, 4-3). Jordan Hooper has been a constant and consistent matchup problem for the Hawkeyes.

Hooper averages 19.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.

"She's a hard person to guard," Bluder said. "She's a post with the skills of a guard. She's strong, and she can rebound."

Iowa has won three straight games since freshman Ally Disterhoft joined the starting lineup. Disterhoft counted 13 points and eight rebounds in the Hawkeyes' 64-56 win over Minnesota on Wednesday.

"I've definitely gotten more comfortable as a starter," she said. "I still get butterflies. I'll always get butterflies."

Alexa Kastanek is a freshman from Lincoln. She said Nebraska "was definitely one of my top four" choices, before choosing the Hawkeyes.

"Iowa recruited me the longest," she said. "They started recruiting me in eighth grade. They had been a constant, throughout."

Saturday's game is chock-full of promotions. It's Girl Scout Day and National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Admission is free for kids wearing their youth jersey.

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