Women's Hoops Up to the Challenge in Cancun

Nov. 26, 2013

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Warm temperatures, sunny skies, and sandy beaches await the University of Iowa women’s basketball team.

Following a road split last week at No. 16 Colorado and Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes (5-1) are headed south of the border to Cancun, Mexico.

“It feels really good to get our first road win; it is a busy week for us,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder on Sunday in Cedar Falls. “We have four games this week, and three more coming up against really good competition in USC, Boston College and UNC-Wilmington. This will be a real test for us with all the travel and number of games in a short amount of time.”

Iowa — listed as the first team receiving votes in the top-25 polls — earned its first road victory of the season last Sunday, defeating the in-state Panthers, 67-60. That contest followed a 90-87 defeat at Colorado on Nov. 20.

The UI’s five-game road swing continues this week at the Cancun Challenge. The Hawkeyes face USC on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (CT), Boston College on Friday at 5 p.m., and conclude action against UNC-Wilmington on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

“This is a great opportunity for us going to Cancun and playing against great competition,” said Bluder. “The thing I like about these tournaments is we are playing good competition on neutral courts, and that presents a good opportunity to pick up quality wins against quality teams.”

The Hawkeyes also have some fun-in-the-sun planned.

“We are also hoping to have a little fun as a team and enjoy this opportunity to be in Cancun and enjoy the resort,” said Bluder. “We have some fun activities planned with the team, like swimming with dolphins. Those are enjoyable experiences that bring your team closer together and will help us down the line.”

“We are looking forward to the trip,” said junior guard Samantha Logic. “It is going to be an amazing time with our team.”

While enjoying a great trip, the women’s hoops team also knows there is business to take care of with tough matchups on the horizon.

“We are able to enjoy our time,” said Logic,” but once it hits Wednesday, the day before the game, we have to be ready to go. Once you start playing you get locked in and get down to business. That is what we are down there for.”

The Hawkeyes are 3-1 all-time in Cancun Challenge action. Iowa last traveled to Cancun in 2010, downing James Madison and Virginia Tech. The Hawkeyes are making their third appearance in the Cancun Challenge, tying Arizona State for the most of any school.

Hawkeye fans can also follow the action via a live stream at CBSSports.com, ULive, and via live stats. The links can be accessed on the women’s basketball schedule page. Follow @IowaWBB on Twitter for game updates.