Nov. 30, 2013
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CANCUN, Mexico — Junior guard Melissa Dixon placed her name among University of Iowa women’s basketball royalty Saturday by sinking seven 3-point field goals during the Hawkeyes’ 102-65 win against UNC-Wilmington in the Triple Sports Cancun Challenge Mayan Tournament in Hard Rock Hotel.
Dixon’s long-range precision matches an Iowa game record also held by Lindsey Meder, Kamille Wahlin, and Jaime Printy. Dixon finished with a career-high 32 points and was named MVP of the Mayan Division; junior Samantha Logic was also named to the All-Tournament team.
“I was open a lot in transition so I had a lot of open looks,” Dixon said. “I have to credit my teammates, they were amazing. They found me when I was open.”
Logic attempted just one field goal against the Seahawks, but she dished out 11 of the Hawkeyes’ 30 assists. Iowa was 37-of-65 from the field for 56.9-percent.
“It’s huge for us getting three wins here and playing pretty well as a team,” Logic said. “We played our style of basketball with 30 assists. That’s how we want to play.”
By going undefeated in three games in Cancun, the Hawkeyes improved to 8-1 overall. UNC-Wilmington is 1-7.
Iowa had four players score in double figures while shooting 40.9-percent from 3-point range (9-of-22) and 86.4-percent from the line (19-of-22). The Hawkeyes held an advantage of 38-8 in bench points with all 10 players seeing between 10 and 25 minutes of court time.
“On paper we were better and should have won this game, but that doesn’t always happen in the third game in three days,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I was happy with our focus and I thought our energy was strong.”
Iowa was ahead by 22 points at halftime (50-28), led by Dixon with 16 points and junior Bethany Doolittle with 14 points. In 13 minutes, Doolittle shot 5-of-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line. She finished with 18 points in 18 minutes, making all six field goals and all six free throws.
The Hawkeyes owned their largest lead at 49 points (95-46) when, appropriately, Dixon made a 3-point field goal off a Logic assist.
“You get a big lead, it’s easy to let down and start playing sloppy,” Bluder said. “But we did not do that and that’s good to see. That’s how you take these kinds of games and still get better.”
UI freshman Ally Disterhoft had another big night, scoring 16 points with a team-high eight rebounds. She had a perfect second half from the field, making five field goals in 13 minutes. Freshman Alexa Kastanek was the fourth Hawkeye in double figures with 12.
UNC-Wilmington was led by Kelva Atkins with 19 points and Ryan Flowers with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Iowa returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for back-to-back home games Dec. 5 and 7. On Thursday the Hawkeyes host Syracuse (8-0) in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
“This is a very good team and it’s an important game for us,” Bluder said. “We’re hoping to have some great support because we’re going to really need it.”