March 27, 2015
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By DARREN MILLER
OKLAHOMA CITY — A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into the University of Iowa’s historic run to the Sweet 16 of the 2015 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The Hawkeyes’ final game Friday at Chesapeake Energy Arena was no different.
No. 6 Baylor won its seventh game in a row and knocked out No. 15 Iowa, 81-66, on a night when UI senior center Bethany Doolittle missed the final 4 ½ minutes after suffering a broken nose. Doolittle scored a team-high 16 points (8-of-14 from the field) with seven rebounds and five blocked shots.
“That hurt us. Beth is such a presence inside and such a great player,” said UI senior Melissa Dixon.
Dixon scored 10 points and closed the Hawkeye scoring with — appropriately — the school-record 334th 3-point field goal of her career. It came compliments — even more appropriately — of the school-record 898th assist from UI senior guard Samantha Logic.
“I don’t know how many other ways you could write it,” said Logic, who finished with her sixth career triple-double with 14 assists, 13 points, and 10 rebounds. “Stereotypical Melissa knocking down a 3, so that is kind of special.”
“That has been a theme over both our careers here,” Dixon said. “The way it ended was kind of how the last four years have gone.”
The final seconds of this game ended the way Logic played all 4,538 minutes of her Hawkeye career. She brought the ball up court and passed to Dixon, who missed a field goal attempt. Logic grabbed the offensive rebound and passed to senior Kathryn Reynolds, who also misfired. Logic hustled for another offensive rebound, this time crashing to the floor while calling timeout. After the break, Logic made an in-bound pass to Dixon who swished the final 3-pointer.
Baylor (33-3) advances to face Notre Dame (34-2) in the Elite Eight on Sunday. The Hawkeyes retire at 26-8.
UI junior Kali Peschel scored 12 points off the bench, making 4-of-6 from the field and both 3-point attempts.
Iowa surged late in the first half, pulling within 36-34 on a layup by Logic with 62 seconds left in the half. Baylor answered with back-to-back 3-point field goals by Kristy Wallace and Alexis Prince and the Bears held a 42-34 lead at the break. The Hawkeyes never got within single digits during the final 20 minutes.
By halftime, Baylor owned a 9-0 advantage in free throw attempts, making all nine.
“We couldn’t get to the free throw line and at halftime that was the difference,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Even at the end of the game, free throw shooting and second-chance points were our biggest problems.”
Iowa finished 3-of-7 from the line (Baylor was 16-of-18) and the Bears scored 15 second-chance points to the Hawkeyes’ seven.
It is the first time Iowa has advanced to the Sweet 16 since 1996.
“It’s tough to see the season come to an end,” Bluder said. “We had a great run, we had great seniors, just super kids in our program. The effort they have given us the last four years has been nothing but amazing.”
Sune Agbuke paced Baylor with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
UNIVERSITY OF IOWA GAME NOTES
– Logic’s six career triple-doubles are the second-highest total in NCAA history.
– Logic’s 14 assists are an Iowa NCAA Tournament record.
– Iowa’s starting senior trio of Dixon, Doolittle, and Logic is the highest scoring trio from the same class in Big Ten history. They combined to score 4,379 points: Dixon (1,480), Doolittle (1,353), and Logic (1,546).
– Iowa’s senior class — Dixon, Doolittle, Logic, and Reynolds — is the program’s winningest graduating class in 21 years, in terms of total victories over four seasons (93 wins).
– Iowa averaged 79.5 points per game this season, setting a program record for scoring offense for the second-straight year.
– Iowa has notched 53 wins since the start of last season, marking the best two-year run since 1988-89 (56 wins).
– Iowa is the only Big Ten team, and one of only 10 teams nationally, to appear in the last eight NCAA Tournaments. (There are 349 Division I teams).
– The Hawkeyes are 3-3 all-time in the Sweet 16 games.