Women's Hoops Looking to Start Fast

Jan. 25, 2014

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 — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team did not lose at Indiana during the Big Ten opener on Jan. 2 in Bloomington, it ran out of time.

“We shouldn’t be getting down by 12 points. We came out with a very lackluster beginning to this game,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder following the conference opener inside Assembly Hall. “We can’t wait until desperation time (to make a comeback); we have to play like that the entire time.”

Iowa dug itself out of a double-digit deficit in the second half and cut Indiana’s lead to two points with two minutes to play (74-72) on a layup by junior Samantha Logic; she made a 3-point field goal with 29 seconds left to pull the Hawkeyes within 83-81, but Indiana held on for an 86-84 victory inside Assembly Hall.

The Hawkeyes are hoping to start fast this time around, and avoid the old adage.

“We need to have good energy from the outset,” said junior Melissa Dixon. “We learned our lesson at Indiana.”

Iowa (15-5, 3-3) hosts the Hoosiers (15-4, 2-4) tonight at 6 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The two squads are tied for the conference lead in overall victories.

The Hawkeyes are coming off an 81-74 win at Ohio State last Sunday. Iowa never trailed en route to its first win in Columbus since 1998. The Hawkeyes got off to the start they needed, jumping out to a 10-4 advantage.

“We started the game with a lot of energy right from the beginning at Ohio State,” said Dixon. “That is important, especially in Big Ten play. You cannot afford to get down. Everyone is so good; it is tough to come back from. A good start is important.”

Freshman Ally Disterhoft helped jump-start the Hawkeyes’ attack, finishing with a double-double in her first career start (24 points, 10 rebounds, 12-of-12 from the foul line).

“We did a great job against Ohio State coming out strong and playing hard and intense from the beginning,” Disterhoft said. “That’s something we need to continue doing.”

Despite a mid-week bye, the Hawkeyes are hoping to carry over momentum from their road win over the Buckeyes.

“We don’t play that often on Saturdays, so it will be fun,” said Dixon. “We are hoping for a great crowd.”

Tonight’s contest is the annual “Go Red for Women” game. The Hawkeyes are encouraging fans to “Go Red For Women,” but wear “Black & Gold” for Iowa. “Go Red for Women” is a nationwide movement encouraging and celebrating heart health among women.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of “Go Red for Women” and during that time, about 650,000 women’s lives have been saved from Cardiovascular diseases. Tickets are also available at the regular price of $10 for adults and $6 for youth by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS or visiting hawkeyesports.com. Tickets are free for UI students.

Free “I heart Iowa” t-shirts will be handed out behind section A for the first 500 fans, and free Iowa women’s basketball headbands will be handed out at the south and west entrances for the first 250 girls, 12 and under.

Saturday’s contest will be televised nationally on BTN (BTN2GO) with Lisa Byington and Vera Jones calling the action.