Nov. 29, 2011
- Download your Iowa Hawkeye iPhone app!
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The light bulb has been flickering early in the season for the University of Iowa women’s basketball team. Head coach Lisa Bluder is eager for the light bulb to stay on.
“I don’t feel like we’re consistent in any area,” said Bluder, who has guided the Hawkeyes to a 4-2 record to start the 2011-12 season. “Some games we rebound well, others we don’t. Some games we shoot better than we do other games. I don’t feel like we’ve consistently improved at one particular area yet.
“They’re (the team) practicing hard, are focused in practice and want to be good. Now it has to come out in a game. I am so excited because it is going to be so much fun to watch this team when this light bulb turns on, but it hasn’t turned on yet.”
The Hawkeyes return to the court Wednesday night, hosting Virginia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Iowa is 0-4 all-time in the Challenge, falling 79-67 at North Carolina last season.
“That’s something we’ve tried to explain to our players that we need to be driven to get a win in here,” said Bluder. “We are winless in this Challenge, and sure would like to change that. We know Virginia Tech is going to be a great challenge.”
“We can get so much better than we are right now. Part of that is frustrating because we’re not there yet, and exciting that we really believe that we can become a great team. I believe it’s going to be like a light switch turning on with our team, and we’re going to look very different than we do right now.”
UI head coach Lisa Bluder
The Hokies come to Iowa City on a three-game losing streak that has dropped their record to 2-4 on the year. Their most recent loss came at the hands of Minnesota, when the Golden Gophers hit a buzzer beater to win 65-64 at the SMC Concord Hilton Tournament in California.
The Hawkeyes are familiar with Virginia Tech, as Iowa blitzed the Hokies, 72-43, in the final game of the 2010 Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico. The current team, however, features a new coaching staff with Dennis Wolff being in his first year at the helm.
Iowa returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena after falling 74-58 to fourth-ranked Texas A&M in the championship game of the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. Bluder said she was able to take away teaching points from the loss.
“We learned how defense can be played,” said Bluder. “I really challenged the team afterwards. Texas A&M made it very, very difficult for us to run any part of our offense by the way they defended. There is no reason why we can’t emulate that type of behavior, and we really challenged our team with that.”
Bluder was impressed with the play of freshman Samantha Logic against the Aggies. The guard finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists against the defending NCAA champion. She averaged 14.5 points and six rebounds in the tournament, which led to her being named to the all-tournament team.
“Sam played very well against Texas A&M,” said Bluder. “She did a tremendous job and looked like she belonged with that group of athletes on the floor.”
Bluder is eager for her team to put the pieces together and play more consistently night-in-and-night-out.
“We can get so much better than we are right now,” she said. “Part of that is frustrating because we’re not there yet, and exciting that we really believe that we can become a great team. I believe it’s going to be like a light switch turning on with our team, and we’re going to look very different than we do right now.”
Wednesday’s game will begin at 7 p.m. (CT). It is “Buck Night” with all tickets being just $1.