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March 23, 2013

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    IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team has experience to fall back on, playing in the previous five NCAA Tournaments. This sixth one will be unique for the battle-tested squad.

    The Hawkeyes will play an opening round game on their home court Sunday, marking the 12th time in program history Iowa has hosted as an NCAA Tournament squad. This has given everybody a little extra time to tackle anything that arises.

    “Obviously this time of year, still in the NCAA Tournament, but to be at home is pretty special,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder, who has taken Iowa to the big dance 10 times. “This afternoon was kind of weird. I’m at home cleaning my kitchen, not sure if that’s what most coaches are doing at NCAA Tournament time. That’s what I was doing. The team is coming over tonight for dinner. Unusual day for us, as far as NCAA Tournament goes, the day preceding those.”

    Iowa will meet ninth-seeded Miami tomorrow in an eight-nine seed matchup inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Start time is set for approximately 6:30 p.m. (CT) after top-seeded Notre Dame faces 16th-seeded Tennessee-Martin.

    Hosting an opening round contest has given the Hawkeyes a little more free time than normal, but the biggest benefit they’ll be looking toward will be the home crowd. The Hawkeyes rank 19th nationally in attendance this season, marking the third consecutive season they’ve ranked within the top-20.

    Iowa received a standing ovation at the men’s NIT game Friday night. The team is hoping that will be just one small slice of what is to come tomorrow against Miami.

    “You can tell that the Hawk fans are really here to support athletics, whether it’s men or women’s basketball,” said senior Morgan Johnson. “They have done a great job of showing us they are here to support us all the way through.”

    The Hurricanes went 21-10 in the regular season en route to a fourth place ACC finish. Miami is led by three seniors in their starting lineup, all of whom score in double-figures. Bluder praised Miami for their excellent defense and rebounding.

    Miami head coach Katie Meier had many praises to give to the Hawkeyes, particularly sophomore guard Samantha Logic.

    Samantha Logic is incredibly important,” said Meier. “That Purdue game, they are unbeatable when she plays that way. I thought that was one of the best responses by a women’s basketball team the entire season…they were determined to win that game, and that’s what kind of launched them into the postseason.”

    Logic helped Iowa snap a five-game losing streak against the 18th-ranked Boilermakers with 26 points and nine rebounds in a critical matchup for Iowa.

    Logic, a third-team All-Big Ten selection by the media who already has 344 assists, was quick to remind the media of the variety of weapons on Iowa’s roster. The Hawkeyes have four players averaging at least nine points, led by Johnson (14.8, senior guard Jaime Printy (12.9) and Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year Melissa Dixon (10.2)

    “Well, I think you can’t really focus too much on one player on our team,” said Logic. “We have so many different weapons, so many different games, that I don’t think a team can completely stop our team by stopping one player.”

    Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS or visiting hawkeyesports.com. The Iowa Athletics Ticket Office will be open from 2:30 p.m. until the end of game action on Sunday. The contest will be televised by ESPN2 with Holly Rowe and Brenda VanLengen on the call.