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By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The biggest women’s basketball game of Sam Logic’s season is Wednesday, but she is considerably distracted by her alma mater’s big game Monday in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Logic is the seasoned veteran for the Kosice Young Angels in Slovakia, a team that finds itself in a 2-1 hole in a best-of-five postseason series.
“We have to win to stay alive and compete for a championship,” said Logic, who averages 11 points, 6.5 rebounds, five assists, and two steals per game. “That would be an accomplishment if we (advanced). We’re the underdogs in this one for sure.”
Still, Logic has an alarm set for 1 a.m. Tuesday morning (her time) so she can rise, boot her personal computer, and watch a stream of the Iowa-Baylor Elite Eight matchup on ESPN2.
“The time difference makes it hard to watch (Iowa games), but I track all of their results,” Logic said. “Even though I’m not big on social media, one of the first things I do is check the scores.”
This isn’t your typical Hawkeye game. It is the first time Iowa has been in the Elite Eight since 1993 when the Hawkeyes defeated Tennessee, 72-56. It is also the first time Iowa has played Baylor since Logic turned in a triple double (the sixth of her career) against the Bears in the Sweet 16 on March 27, 2015, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Last season Logic played overseas with Nina Davis, who was a sophomore for Baylor during that 2015 game.
“I texted her and said the Bears and Hawkeyes are ready for round two and I’m here for it,” Logic said. “She asked if I had any bets on it. The trash talk started.”
There are many similarities between Iowa’s 2014-15 and 2018-19 teams. Both were led by seniors who played their high school ball in Wisconsin (Logic at Case in Racine and current senior Megan Gustafson at South Shore in Port Wing). Both teams had emotional Senior Day sendoffs in front of large crowds in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (9,726 at the game in 2015; 12,051 at the game in 2019). Both teams played the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament at home (American and Miami in 2015, Mercer and Missouri in 2019). Both teams faced Baylor, one of the sport’s blue blood programs, in the postseason.
The Bears defeated Iowa, 81-66, in 2015 despite 14 assists, 13 points, and 10 rebounds from the 5-foot-9 Logic. In her second-to-last game as a Hawkeye, Iowa downed Miami, 88-70, in front of 7,220 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena to finish 18-0 at home.
“To get to the Sweet 16 and cut down the nets in front of our fans, there is nothing like it,” Logic said. “We were so blessed to play at home and have fans come out and love on us and we got to celebrate with them. That was special to us four (seniors) for sure.”
Other seniors on Iowa’s 2014-15 team that finished 26-8 overall were Melissa Dixon, Bethany Dolittle, and Kathryn Reynolds. Reynolds is in her second season as director of basketball operations for the Hawkeyes.
“We went out our way (in the final regular season game against Minnesota),” Logic said. “That was one of my favorite games and one of my favorite memories I will ever have is when Kath (Reynolds) got in and drilled a 3(-point field goal). She put in the work and didn’t get much clock and to get her in on Senior Day and have her drill a 3 right in front of the bench was the best.”
Iowa defeated the Gophers, 92-76, behind Logic’s 24 points and 13 assists. Dixon was 8 of 11 from distance and scored a team-high 27.
Logic remains one of the school’s all-time greats, totaling 1,546 points (12th in school history), 898 assists (first), 260 steals (second), and 922 rebounds (third). She was without a doubt the toughest ever to wear a Hawkeye uniform; twice Logic returned to the court after suffering in-game head injuries that required stitches, once she lost a tooth but still finished the game, and three days after spraining an MCL as a senior, she played 27 minutes in a win over Colorado.
Logic was selected by Atlanta with the 10th pick in the first round of the 2015 WNBA Draft. She played 27 games that summer with Atlanta and San Antonio, averaging 1.8 points per game.
When Logic isn’t playing basketball overseas, she is coaching a 13U team near Milwaukee. It doesn’t take someone with Logic’s basketball mentality to appreciate Gustafson’s body of work from 2015-19. Logic tries not to think what having Gustafson for a teammate might have been like; who knows how far past 1,000 assists Logic would have gone.
“I try not to think about it too much because it drives me crazy,” Logic said of the possibility of teaming with Gustafson. “To have that versatility of a back-to-the-basket post — teams would have had to prepare so much differently against us. Megan is that grind-it-out rebounder we needed.”
Logic is currently battling a cold, so if she isn’t able to answer the alarm early in the morning in Slovakia, she has a solid backup plan. Her family is recording the game for her in Racine, Wisconsin. When Logic returns to the States on April 30, one of the first things she will do is watch or re-watch the Iowa-Baylor Elite Eight game.
“I want to be able to watch it,” Logic said. “Baylor has good bigs, too; Iowa has shooting on the outside, so I think it will be an awesome game.”
No. 8 Iowa (29-6) and No. 1 Baylor (34-1) tip off Monday at 6 p.m. (CT) in Greensboro Coliseum. The game is televised on ESPN2.