IOWA CITY — The Iowa Hawkeyes took a couple days off earlier this week.
They briefly mourned an opportunity that got away at Purdue. And they gathered themselves for the final push of the regular season.
That final push begins Saturday, when the Hawkeyes (20-7 overall, 8-5 Big Ten) face Michigan (17-10, 8-6) at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. Tipoff is 12:30 p.m. (Iowa time).
“It’s an extremely important game for us because Michigan is right behind us (in the Big Ten standings),” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said Thursday.
Iowa, Michigan and Purdue (18-6, 8-5) are chasing fourth place in the Big Ten and the conference-tournament first-round bye that comes along with it.
Purdue beat Iowa, 74-73, Sunday, rallying from a 16-point halftime deficit.
“It can take a lot out of you,” Bluder said. “If you want success, you have to deal with frustrations. You have to move on.”
The Hawkeyes haven’t played since, giving them an opportunity to work on fundamental skills in practice.
“Something like that is good this time of year,” Bluder said.
Iowa’s Samantha Logic is coming off a triple-double — her third of the season — at Purdue.
Michigan has won its last two games, both on the road. The Wolverines were 70-58 victors at Indiana on Wednesday.