Iowa had a slightly odd win over Nebraska last Thursday -- they got absolutely destroyed on the boards (46-28 overall, 13-4 offensive), but won anyway because Nebraska turned the ball over 22 times in the game and Iowa shot almost 50% (48.3%) in the second half. Sunday's home win over Indiana -- a game sandwiched between tricky road contests against Nebraska and Minnesota (on Tuesday) -- was much more routine. Iowa controlled the glass (36-27 overall, 13-5 overall), won the turnover ball (16-10), and shot a crisp 49.2% in cruising to an 81-64 win.
It was a back-and-forth game early, but Indiana's last lead of the game came at 18-17 halfway through the first half. Iowa went on a 16-2 run at that point and never looked back. They took a 35-26 lead into halftime and then really blew the game open with a 15-4 run that gave Iowa an 18-point lead. Much like the Nebraska game, Iowa again shot the ball really well in the second half (19/31, 61.3%). That made the second half an easy march to victory -- and enabled Iowa to get some bench players key minutes. With Iowa in the midst of a very busy stretch, getting some rest for its excellent starting unit was critical.
Only two Iowa players logged 30 or more minutes last night (do-everything team leader Samantha Logic and key scorer Ally Disterhoft), while four reserves each logged at least 13 minutes (Chase Coley, Christina Buttenham, Kali Peschel, Alexa Kastanek). Iowa isn't the deepest team around, but they got nice contributions from the bench players yesterday. Kastanek had 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in 15 minutes of work, while Chase Coley added 9 points and 3 rebounds in 13 minutes of work.
Melissa Dixon didn't shoot the ball very well (5/14 overall, 4/11 from deep), but still led Iowa with 15 points. Disterhoft added 13 points on 5/11 shooting, Logic had 11 points on 4/8 shooting (to go with 11 assists and 6 rebounds), and Bethany Doolittle had 12 points on 6/9 shooting. It's an enormous boost for Iowa to be able to score 80+ points and beat teams easily without relying on a monster game from Dixon; this team has several players capable of scoring a lot of points and they do an excellent job of picking up the slack for each other if one player has an off night. That makes Iowa's offense very difficult to slow down.
With the win Iowa improves to 21-4 overall and 12-2 in the Big Ten. They've won four in a row and 10 of their last 11 games, with the lone stumble coming on the road against #5 Maryland. They're playing at a phenomenally high level right now and it's absolutely great to see. And we actually can see them in action this week -- both Tuesday's game with Minnesota (8 PM CT) and Saturday's game with Ohio State (6 PM CT) are being televised by BTN. Both games will be tricky -- the Gophers and Buckeyes are part of a three-team tie for fourth place in the Big Ten at 9-5 and both games will be on the road -- but Iowa is playing so well right now that they should have an excellent chance to win both games.