Feb. 17, 2015
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By DARREN MILLER
MINNEAPOLIS — It took a record-breaking performance by Minnesota sophomore center Amanda Zahui B. to derail the No. 11 University of Iowa women’s basketball team from its four-game winning streak Tuesday at Williams Arena.
Zahui B. scored 39 points with Big Ten Conference record 29 rebounds to lead the Gophers to a 93-80 win. Samantha Logic nearly kept pace for the Hawkeyes, scoring 26 points with 13 assists, eight rebounds, and no turnovers in 38 minutes. UI center Bethany Doolittle also compiled a double-double with 18 points, 11 rebounds, and five blocked shots.
It was the 28th career double-double for Logic and the seventh of the season for Doolittle, a native of Oakdale, Minnesota.
The result leaves both teams with 21 victories. Minnesota improved to 21-6 overall, 10-5 in the Big Ten; Iowa remains in sole possession of second place in the league at 21-5, 12-3 and finished its rugged six-day stretch with a 2-1 record.
Minnesota was 35-of-69 from the field (50.7 percent) and owned a 53-35 advantage in rebounds.
“Defensive intensity and a rebounding problem definitely tonight,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Not enough defense and not enough rebounding.”
The Hawkeyes attempted 84 field goals, making 32 for 38.1 percent. They were 11-of-35 from long range with Melissa Dixon (five), Logic (three), Ally Disterhoft (two), and Whitney Jennings (one) making 3-point field goals. Dixon sank four in the second half. A 3-pointer by Logic with 7:31 remaining pulled Iowa within one point at 73-72.
As much damage as Zahui B. did, a key to that was Minnesota’s success from outside to begin the game. The Gophers were 8-of-13 from distance for the game, making their first four attempts.
“It was their 3-point shooters who really got going to begin with,” Bluder said. “When you have shooters doing that well from 3-point range, there is no help you can give (Doolittle) inside (on Zahui B.). We wanted to zone but we couldn’t do that when they are shooting so well from 3-point range. We just didn’t get out on their shooters.”
The teams combined to score 90 points in the first half by attempting 87 field goals (25 from 3-point range). Minnesota led 48-42 at the break and jumped to an 18-7 lead less than five minutes into the game.
Doolittle paced the Hawkeyes with 14 points, eight rebounds, and five blocked shots at halftime; Logic had 10 points and nine assists.
Chase Coley, a UI freshman from Minneapolis, played nine minutes and scored six points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field.
Iowa plays its final regular season road game Saturday at Ohio State with a 6 p.m. (CT) tip. The Buckeyes (18-8, 10-5) defeated Purdue, 92-60, on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio. The Hawkeyes downed Ohio State, 73-65, on Feb. 5 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“We have two days to get ready for Ohio State,” Bluder said. “We got them at our place but we know going to their place is going to be another challenge.”