Nov. 21, 2014
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Dayton did its part. So did No. 18 University of Iowa.
A rematch of last season’s overtime thriller in the championship of the Hawkeye Challenge is set for Saturday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena after Dayton (1-2) defeated University of Tennessee Martin, 78-47, and the Hawkeyes (3-0) downed Pepperdine, 97-68, on Friday in the first round of the Hawkeye Challenge.
Iowa emerged with a 97-93 win over the Flyers last year.
“You have to keep in mind (Dayton) is going to play it like we would,” UI senior guard Samantha Logic said. “They will have a chip on their shoulder, ready for redemption.”
Senior guard Melissa Dixon led Iowa to the title matchup by scoring a game-high 20 points on a night when her six 3-point field goals moved her past Wendy Ausdemore into fourth on the school’s all-time list with 226. Dixon was 7-of-12 from the field and 6-of-11 from beyond the arc.
In the second half — when Iowa outscored Pepperdine 56-38 — six Hawkeyes combined for 10 3-point field goals. During one stretch late in the game, Iowa received back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers from freshman Christina Buttenham, sophomore Alexa Kastanek, and freshman Whitney Jennings that boosted a 23-point lead to 32.
Pepperdine led 24-23 with 5:47 left in the first half, but Iowa closed the final 4:20 on an 18-6 run that included five unanswered points in the final 28 seconds. The Hawkeyes dominated the final 20 minutes by shooting 61.8 percent from the field (21-of-34) with all but four of those baskets coming off assists.
“Kind of a slow start to this game, but we got heated up and I thought the last seven minutes of the first half was pretty good,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Second half, I thought we executed very well offensively. We shot the ball well, except from the free throw line — need to improve on that area.”
Iowa made 12-of-20 free throws.
UI sophomore Ally Disterhoft scored Iowa’s first five points and finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists. Logic scored 12 points with nine assists, and Jennings added 11 points and five assists.
“I thought Chase did some great things defensively for us, Whitney had five assists, zero turnovers,” Bluder said. “All of them shot the ball well. Carly Mohns had six points in seven minutes including three rebounds, so that was nice to see.”
The Hawkeye bench outscored Pepperdine 40-12. That allowed 14 Iowa players to see the court, with six playing between 22 and 25 minutes. Dayton also had six players log 20 or minutes with a 24-hour turn-around before the championship.
“I guess you always want a little more rest when you’re playing back to back games,” Bluder said. “Our bench played pretty well and our depth paid off for us. But you don’t like to play that many minutes when you’re playing back to back games, especially when tomorrow is going to be a race. It’s going to be a track meet.”
Allie Green led four Waves in double figures with 16 points.
Tip-off for the Iowa-Dayton game is 7:30 pm. (CT). Admission is free.