Letdown? Hawkeyes insist not

Women's basketball: Coming off upset at Penn State, Iowa settles back in for home date with Northwestern

Jeff Linder
Published: February 9 2014 | 9:00 am - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 3:23 am in

IOWA CITY -- No, the Iowa Hawkeyes insist. There won't be a letdown Monday.

They remember, not so fondly, what happened last year at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against Northwestern.

"Yeah, they beat us on a last-second shot," Melissa Dixon recalled. "That one really hurt."

So the chances of a Penn State hangover are slim. The Hawkeyes (18-6 overall, 6-4 Big Ten) upset the 10th-ranked, league-leading Lady Lions, 73-70, Thursday night.

"It makes us feel like we can beat anybody," said post Bethany Doolittle.

Tipoff Monday is 6 p.m. at Carver, a place that has been uncharacteristically unfriendly to the Hawkeyes (or, maybe, vice versa) lately. Iowa is 2-3 in home Big Ten games, 4-1 on the road.

Northwestern (14-9, 4-6) is coming off a 70-68 loss at home to Michigan. The Wildcats, according to Coach Lisa Bluder, are a different outfit to which she is familiar.

"They're much more athletic, quicker and faster than they've been in the past," she said. "We're used to them having a big post, but that's not the case this year. It's almost like they play five guards. It's a hard matchup."

Both teams possess a freshman of immediate impact. Nia Coffey leads Northwestern in scoring (14.9 points per game) and rebounding (7.8 per contest).

Iowa counters with Ally Disterhoft, who scored 24 points at Penn State and leads the Hawkeyes at 15.0 points per game in Big Ten play.

"Since she got into the starting lineup, she's done some special things," Bluder said. "This is the best freshman class in the Big Ten since I've been here, and Ally's right up there with the best."

Disterhoft said, "Coming in, I knew I could contribute, whether it would be helping on the floor or cheering from the bench."

Junior point guard Samantha Logic posted a triple-double at Penn State, the third of her career. Logic is averaging 14.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game.

Bluder feels like Logic is a candidate for Big Ten MVP, but "I know that's not going to happen. Everybody looks at scoring, and Maggie (Lucas of Penn State) and Rachel (Banham of Minnesota) are big scorers.

"But is Samantha one of the most valuable players? Without a doubt. Nobody provides more for her team than she does."

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