Iowa women going for fourth consecutive 20-win season
IOWA CITY — Five of Lisa Bluder’s women’s basketball teams at the University of Iowa have reached 20 wins.
None have done it as quickly as this team could.
The Hawkeyes (19-7 overall, 7-6 Big Ten) go after No. 20 Wednesday night — their fourth straight season with 20 wins or more — when they host Wisconsin (14-10, 9-3). Tipoff is 7 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“Twenty still has a good ring to it,” Bluder said Tuesday at her weekly press conference. “It used to be, once you got to 20, you were in the NCAA, but that doesn’t hold true as much. I think it’s still a big deal to the media and to fans.”
Bluder’s Hawkeye teams have won 23 (2005), 21 (2001, 2008, 2009) and 20 (2010). If Iowa wins Wednesday, the Hawkeyes will hit the plateau in their 27th game, the earliest in Bluder’s 11 years in Iowa City.
“Getting to 20 is an accomplishment,” said junior guard Kamille Wahlin. “It’s a testament to the past four years, building and competing at the highest level.”
The Hawkeyes are aiming for their first three-game win streak since December. They’ll be doing so against a team that has won 12 of its last 15.
Wisconsin (14-10, 9-3) is one game behind Michigan State in the Big Ten race.
“Their overall record is not indicative of how good they are,” Bluder said. “Their three key players (Alyssa Karel, Lin Zastrow and Tara Steinbauer) are seniors.”
Marion native Morgan Paige is a freshman and averaging 3.4 points per game.
The Badgers haven’t played since beating Northwestern last Thursday. Iowa rallied from a 13-point deficit at Northwestern on Sunday, scoring 63 second-half points in an 86-75 win.
Even though the Hawkeyes do not play again until next Thursday, Bluder opted to choose Monday as the NCAA-mandated weekly day off.“We’d been on for a lot of days in a row, and I thought it was best to take Monday off,” Bluder said. “It’s a gamble.”