It took a little bit longer than we hoped, but Iowa finally locked up win #300 for Lisa Bluder last night, knocking off Wisconsin, 76-74. The delay in securing win #300 did mean that Bluder got to pick up this milestone win at home, in the friendly confines of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, though, which was a nice touch. But congratulations to Bluder -- 300 wins at a school is a hell of an accomplishment, no matter the sport. That's a cool 20 wins-per-season average (Iowa has won fewer than 20 wins in just six of her 15 seasons, including just one of the last eight seasons). Well done and congratulations all around to one of the most consistent (and best) coaches Iowa has had in some time.
Iowa ended their two-game losing streak by welcoming a familiar -- and obliging opponent to CHA. Iowa entered the game with a 14-game (!) winning streak over Wisconsin; two hours later that streak was up to 15 games. Iowa last lost to the Badgers over eight years ago (February 11, 2007). Leading the way for Iowa last night was one of the best basketball players the state of Wisconsin has produced in recent years -- Samantha Logic. Logic had 20 points (on 8/14 shooting) to go with 10 rebounds and 9 assists. (She has "just" one triple-double this year, but has finished a stat or two away from more on several occasions.) Logic has been excellent for Iowa over her four-year career, but she's definitely saved some of her best performances for games against her home-state team (she scored a career-best 30 points the last time Iowa and Wisconsin played). Logic has set many records over her Iowa career, both for Iowa and for the NCAA:
#Hawkeyes Samantha Logic started her 129th career game, equaling Morgan Johnson (2010-13) for the most career starts in program history.— Iowa Women's BBall (@IowaWBB) February 27, 2015
The second tweet is a testament to Logic's incredible all-around game and her ability to stuff the stat sheet in a wide variety of categories. Logic is good at many things on the basketball court, but her greatest strength may be her ability to provide exactly what Iowa needs her to provide at a given moment. If they need a bucket, she can score. If they need a rebound, she's excellent at hauling in missed shots, despite playing on the perimeter. If they need an assist, well, she's certainly a brilliant passer. And so on. Congrats to Logic on a tremendous career -- and one that's not over yet by any means.
Logic was ably assisted by Bethany Doolittle (22 points on 8/16 shooting, 6 rebounds) and Ally Disterhoft (17 points on 5/13 shooting, 8 rebounds). Which was good because Melissa Dixon had another rough night shooting theb all (4 points on 2/7 shooting, 1/5 from deep). In fact, Iowa as a team didn't shoot the ball very well -- 43.1% from the field, just 28.6% from deep. As they've done so often this year, though, they raised their game in the second half -- after shooting 36.1% (FG)/15.4% (3FG) in the first half, Iowa boosted that to 51.7% (FG)/50% (3FG) in the second half. That was enough to hold off a Badger team that wouldn't go away all night. In fact, the Badgers led 54-52 with 10:46 to play, before Iowa ripped off a 15-0 run that carried them to victory.
With the win, Iowa improved to 22-6 overall, 13-4 in Big Ten play -- and 15-0 at home. In ESPN's latest Bracketology, the Hawkeyes remain a #3 seed and slated to host a pair of games. Their two-game losing streak last week did cost them some ground in the polls, though -- they dropped to #16 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and #17 in the AP Poll.
Congrats to Logic and Disterhoft, who were named Academic All-Americans this week, too. So they're smart as well as being really good at basketball.
NEXT: Iowa closes out the regular season with a visit from Minnesota (22-7, 11-6) on Sunday (2 PM CT, BTN). Let's hope Amanda Zahui B. doesn't have another monster game for the Gophers.