A performance like that, on Senior Day? Go ahead, move your feet and feel united.
Before a season-high attendance total of 9726, Iowa avenged a loss to Minnesota two weeks ago, torching the Gophers on the way to a 92-76 win on Senior Day and locking up a 2nd place finish in the Big Ten. Fittingly, it was Iowa's seniors who led the way on Sunday. Samantha Logic, Melissa Dixon, Bethany Doolittle, and Kathryn Reynolds came to Iowa as members of one of Iowa's most-heralded recruiting classes and they've formed the foundation for much of the success that Iowa has enjoyed over the last four years. They were in peak form against the Gophers.
Dixon shook off some recent poor shooting performances to uncork 27 points on 8/12 shooting -- 8/11 from deep. 8 three-pointers is mighty impressive... but it's also the fourth game this season in which she's made at least 8 three-pointers. This was the first game that she's done it front of the Iowa faithful, though, and her 8 3-pointers set a new CHA record. Dixon's also closing in on the single-season Big Ten record for made 3-pointers; given that tournament 3-pointers count towards that record, it should be a matter of when, not if, she sets it.
Dixon wasn't the only senior setting records on Sunday, though -- Bethany Doolittle set an Iowa record with 9 (!!!) blocks against the Gophers. Doolittle didn't shoot the ball well (just 5/16 from the field), but still managed to score 12 points to go with 12 rebounds and 4 assists. Doolittle did a more than credible job against her much-hyped (and much-talked about) counterpart on Minnesota, Amanda Zahui B. Zahui B. had another very good game -- 22 points (on 11/16 shooting), 21 rebounds, and 7 blocks -- but it wasn't as monstrous as her first game against Iowa and Doolittle (among others) deserves credit for that.
Samantha Logic set a record herself -- she started her 130th career game on Sunday, breaking her tie with Morgan Johnson. With any luck, Logic will add several more starts to that number by the end of the season. Logic played 39 minutes and had her usual stat-stuffing, all-around excellent performance. Logic scored 24 points on 10/18 shooting, dished out 13 assists, and also grabbed 6 rebounds. Just another magnificent game from one of the best players to ever suit up for Iowa. This honor from espnW is well-deserved and probably the first of many accolades that Logic will receive this week:
It's hard to imagine a game going much better than this one did for Iowa. Iowa avenged a loss from earlier in the season, beat a major rival, and got spectacular performances from several seniors on Senior Day. It doesn't get much better than that. And while this was Senior Day, it probably wasn't the final appearance in CHA for Iowa's exceptional senior class -- Iowa remains in very good shape to earn a top-4 seed at the NCAA Tournament and host games during the opening weekend of the event. The bracket for the women's NCAA Tournament will be released in a few weeks.
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With the Big Ten regular season in the books, the Big Ten Tournament bracket is now set, too. As mentioned, Iowa's 14-4 record was good for a solo 2nd place finish in the Big Ten and #2 seed in the conference tournament next weekend. That means Iowa gets a double-bye and is off until Friday at 6 PM CT. They'll play the winner of Thursday's Nebraska/Illinois game. Win that game and Iowa would likely get a rubber match with either Minnesota or Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinal on Saturday. Iowa beat both Ohio State and Minnesota in Iowa City, but lost to them in Columbus and Minneapolis, respectively.
Nebraska has been a longtime nemesis for Iowa -- the Hawkeyes lost their first eight games against Nebraska after the Huskers joined the Big Ten before finally breaking through with a 78-72 win over Nebraska in Iowa City in January. They followed that up with a 69-61 win in Lincoln two weeks later. Nebraska has also eliminated Iowa in each of the last three Big Ten Tournaments. Illinois handed Iowa one of their four conference losses this season, dropping Iowa 73-61 in Champaign early in January. Illinois shot very well from the field in that game (48%) and was called for just 9 fouls. Iowa's 61-point offensive output was also one of their worst performances of the season. The Illini went 4-11 in the league after that, but they also notched wins over Ohio State (66-55) and absolutely hammered Minnesota (95-69). Illinois is a weird team.The full bracket is below.