Jan. 20, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Lisa Bluder joked that her quest for 600 career victories might not have taken 891 games if she would have scheduled more opponents in the top 25.
Bluder and the University of Iowa women’s basketball team improved to 5-0 against ranked teams this season with a 62-46 win against No. 11 Purdue on Sunday on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win boosted the Hawkeyes to 14-5 overall, 3-2 in the Big Ten Conference; it was win No. 600 for Bluder, who is now 244-149 at the UI.
“Maybe we need to play everybody in the top 25,” said Bluder after win 600. “Our defensive intensity set the tone, we rebounded well in the first half, and then kind of hung on in the second half a little bit to win this game.”
Sunday’s attendance of 8,576 was the Hawkeyes’ largest crowd since drawing 9,865 against Ohio State on Jan. 8, 2011.
Iowa scored the first seven points and led 41-18 at halftime, after building a 23-point lead 18:45 into the game. Purdue was held to 24.2-percent shooting during the first 20 minutes (8-of-33), while the Hawkeyes made 17-of-40 field goals and 6-of-10 3-pointers.
It was the first league loss of the season for the Boilermakers (15-3, 4-1), who played their third game in six days. The only other teams to defeat Purdue this season are Connecticut and Notre Dame.
“Our team kind of embraces the underdog role a little bit,” said Bluder, trying to make sense of the Hawkeyes’ spotless record against rated foes. “We’ve done it a lot of times in the past, so it’s not like we do anything differently for these opponents. Maybe it’s a sharper focus and we know we can do it. That’s always part of the battle, too, is if you know we can compete with top 25 teams.”
The Hawkeyes made 9-of-15 3-point field goals for the game, three each by Theairra Taylor (3-for-3), Jaime Printy (3-of-5) and Melissa Dixon (3-of-6). Printy and Dixon shared game-high scoring honors with 15 points; Taylor scored nine points with 10 rebounds. Printy and Bethany Doolittle pulled down nine rebounds, Morgan Johnson had seven rebounds. The UI assist leader was Samantha Logic with 10.
The win comes three days after the Hawkeyes fell at Michigan State, 65-54. From Thursday to Sunday, the UI went from a not-so-confident group, to one that nearly ran the Boilermakers out of the gymnasium in the first half.
“Confidence comes from within, it’s something you have to bring yourself,” Bluder said. “Confidence is something nobody can give you, you have to earn it, you have to work hard. We came out as the more aggressive team tonight which set the tone for our confidence.”
The Boilermakers rallied in the second half, closing to within nine points twice, including 52-43 with 5:26 to play. But in the end, victory went to the more aggressive and more confident Hawkeyes.
Iowa remains at home to face Wisconsin on Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes won the first meeting, 65-56 on Jan. 10 in Madison, Wis.
Bluder became the 42nd coach (all divisions) and the 25th head coach (10 years at a Division I school) to reach the 600-win milestone.
Iowa is now 5-0 against ranked opponents this season, including two wins over top-15 teams (No. 11 Purdue, No. 12 West Virginia).
Printy moved into second place on Iowa’s career 3-pointers list. She passed Kamille Wahlin, who finished with 231 3-pointers. Printy now has 232 3-pointers and trails only Lindsey Meder (261).
Taylor recorded her second career double-digit rebounding performance in Iowa’s win over Purdue. She tallied 11 against Illinois State earlier this year.
Logic collected 10 assists in the win over Purdue. Logic has dished out 10 or more assists in seven career games, including four this year as a sophomore.
Dixon recorded her sixth game of the season with at least 10 points off the bench.