Dec. 7, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — When members of the University of Iowa women’s basketball team wake Sunday, they will have no classes, no practice, and no travel. What they have is a day off…a well-deserved day off.
The Hawkeyes (10-1 overall) won their sixth game in a row, thanks to a school-record 17 made 3-point field goals, 95-47, on Saturday against Idaho State (2-6) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa shot 56.4-percent from the field for the game and held the Bengals to 21.5-percent (11.8-percent in the second half). While the Hawkeyes made 75-percent of their two-point field goals (14-of-21), the real story was their success from long range.
Junior Melissa Dixon was up to her old tricks, sinking six 3-pointers, giving her 20 in the last three games. She had a school-record seven against UNC-Wilmington and Syracuse. Her teammates must have noticed how much fun she was having and they decided to join the long ball party. Senior Theairra Taylor made four against Idaho State, freshman Ally Diesterhoft had three, sophomore Kathryn Reynolds added two, and junior Samantha Logic and freshman Alexa Kastanek made one apiece.
“It’s great. I love it when the whole team is hitting their shots,” Dixon said. “Once one person starts hitting everyone starts hitting.”
“We have fun doing it,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “They work hard at it. It’s one of those contagious things, too. Once they start flying in, it’s easy for it to seem like the basket is getting bigger and bigger.”
Dixon also made all six free throw attempts to finish with a game-high 24 points. Junior center Bethany Doolittle scored 17 points with 10 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals. Taylor (16) and Disterhoft (14) were also in double figures for points.
Once again the Hawkeyes did a great job sharing the ball, with 28 assists on 31 field goals. They also shared playing time. Nine of the Iowa players were on the court between 12 and 28 minutes.
“We came into the game hoping we could get our non-starters some opportunities to get on the floor, get game experience and improve,” Bluder said. “We were able to accomplish that today. It’s good for our starters not to have so many minutes after coming off a tough game Tuesday (against Syracuse).”
The Hawkeye reserves outscored Idaho State’s bench, 28-9.
After a taxing 97-91 win over No. 22 Syracuse on Dec. 5, Bluder expressed concern about her team being exhausted and having just one day to prepare for the Bengals. The “tired leg syndrome” might have played a part in Iowa struggling a bit in the first half: the Hawkeyes were up 25-24 with 6:04 left before the break.
But did they ever turn it on in the second half. While Idaho State made just five field goals in the final 23:40, the Hawkeyes made 18-of-30 during that stretch — including 11 3-pointers.
“That was a really good second half,” Bluder said. “I wasn’t real happy with the way we started this game. I think it got our players’ attention.”
Next up for the Hawkeyes is a Thursday trip to Ames, Iowa, to face No. 20 Iowa State (7-0) in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.
“We’ll have three days to prepare for Iowa State,” Bluder said. “That’s a little bit longer than we usually get to prepare for opponents. I don’t have to worry at all about getting our team up to play. I just have to say Iowa State, they’ll show up.”