Nov. 8, 2015
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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Lisa Bluder wanted to see transition during an exhibition women’s basketball game Sunday between No. 23 University of Iowa and Upper Iowa.
Her Hawkeyes scored 95 points, shot 49.3 percent from the field, and netted 34 points off turnovers on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
She wanted to see fundamental basketball, too.
The Hawkeyes handed out 22 assists, committed just nine turnovers, and were plus-12 in rebounding.
Iowa’s head coach wanted to see team basketball.
Thirteen Hawkeyes saw the court, 11 scored points, and 10 pulled down rebounds.
It added up to a 95-41 win for a new-look Iowa team that has a similar look when it comes to final results. Sure, it came against an NCAA Division II opponent that won seven of 27 games last season, but the Hawkeyes gave the 3,614 fans something to be excited about.
Freshman post Megan Gustafson scored 19 points with 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. In the first 52 seconds, senior Kali Peschel scored six points with two offensive rebounds (she finished with 17 points and five offensive rebounds). Junior Alexa Kastanek misfired on just two of eight field goal attempts and finished with 16 points. Freshman point guard Tania Davis scored 14 points with seven assists and three steals.
“I thought we had a good first time out,” Bluder said. “There are always things you want to work on, but I loved some of the things I saw. I saw unselfish play and a lot of good performances by our team.”
Iowa made 36-of-73 field goals, including 15-of-28 in the second half (53.6 percent). The Hawkeyes held an advantage of 54-16 in paint points, 34-3 on points off turnovers, and 26-0 on fast break points.
The Hawkeyes are coming off a 26-8 season that saw them advance to the NCAA Sweet 16. They graduated three of their top four scorers and junior Ally Disterhoft sat out the exhibition game with a minor injury. Last season Disterhoft averaged 14.8 points per game and got to the free throw line 175 times.
“She will be back next week,” Bluder said.
Iowa looks to extend an 18-game home winning streak Friday against North Dakota in the Hawkeye Challenge. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (CT). The Hawkeyes take on Tennessee Martin on Sunday at 1 p.m.
“They have three days of practice (before the Hawkeye Challenge), but I would take three weeks,” Bluder said. “Coaches always want to practice and players want to play. We’ll watch film and figure out the things we need to work on to make us a better team.”