Feb. 15, 2015
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — A season-high 8,748 fans saw the No. 13 University of Iowa women’s basketball team play as close to mistake-free as possible Sunday during an 81-64 victory over Indiana on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes (21-4 overall, 12-2 Big Ten) out-rebounded Indiana, 36-27. They had 26 assists on 32 made field goals. They committed six fewer turnovers than the Hoosiers (16-10). They shot 61.3 percent from the field in the second half.
“It was a nice, well-played game for us,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “It was nothing real flashy, but a good old fashioned win. We played pretty mistake-free basketball which is what you want to be doing this time of year — not making a whole lot of silly mistakes. I felt we did that today.”
Iowa has averaged 4,646 fans in 13 home games this season. The Hawkeyes topped that by 4,102 on Sunday, and remained undefeated in 14 tries at home.
“This could be the fullest (Carver-Hawkeye Arena has been) since I have been here,” UI senior guard Samantha Logic said. “We appreciate it so much, coming out and playing in front of full stands. We go to a lot of places and people don’t have that kind of support. We are so grateful for that and we’re happy we can win here for them.”
Once again Logic did her part with a double-double of 11 points and 11 assists. Logic and sophomore Ally Disterhoft shared the team lead with six rebounds. Senior guard Melissa Dixon scored a team-high 15 points with four 3-point field goals. Disterhoft and Doolittle added 13 and 12 points.
“Four people in double figures, one point away from having five in double figures. I love that,” Bluder said.
The Hawkeye who was a point from double figures was freshman center Chase Coley, who played 13 minutes and made 4-of-5 field goals for nine points.
“She played well and she played a lot of minutes,” Bluder said. “She did a good job on both ends of the floor. She has three rebounds and obviously shot the ball with confidence.”
Two of Coley’s rebounds were offensive.
With three games in five days, it was by design that Coley and other reserves saw more minutes than usual. Ten Hawkeyes played at least three minutes in the first half, nine played at least 13 minutes in the game, and 14 were on the court for at least a minute.
Iowa received 27 points from its bench, the most since scoring 40 against Pepperdine in the third game of the season.
“That is important knowing we only have one day to prepare for Minnesota and no rest days,” Bluder said. “It was important that we went to the bench and our bench performed. Our bench came and played today, so that was great.”
Junior Kali Peschel logged 17 minutes, sophomore Alexa Kastanek played 15 (seven points, four rebounds, three assists), and freshman Christina Buttenham was in for 14 (five points, two rebounds, two assists).
The Hawkeyes have won four games in a row, 10-of-11, 15-of-15, and own a record of 15-2 since Dec. 7. Iowa made 19-of-31 field goals in the second half (61.3 percent). For the game the Hawkeyes shot 49.2 percent from the field (32-of-65), 35.7 percent from 3-point range (10-of-28), and 77.8 percent from the line (7-of-9).
Iowa led 35-26 at halftime after gaining a 13-point advantage (33-20) on a 3-point field goal by Disterhoft with 2:14 left before the break. Dixon had nine points and Logic added seven points and seven assists.
Indiana (14-11, 4-10) received 18 points from reserve Jess Walter and a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds from Alexis Gassion.
The Hawkeyes conclude their regular season road schedule with games at Minnesota on Tuesday (8 p.m.) and at Ohio State on Saturday (6 p.m.). It will be Iowa’s first meeting of the season against the Gophers (the rematch is March 1 in Iowa City); the Hawkeyes defeated Ohio State, 73-65, on Feb. 5.
Earlier in the week, Bluder expressed concern about the stretch of three games in a five days. Iowa has successfully passed the first two tests.
“We’re 2-0 and I want to be 3-0,” Bluder said. “All our focus right now is going into that Minnesota game.”