WBB: Hawkeyes' motive: Stop the slide, now

Iowa aims to end season's first losing streak at Minnesota

IOWA CITY -- It's a slide, not yet a slump.

The key to preventing a full-blown downward spiral? Let it go, according to Iowa women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder.

"We can't dwell on it," Bluder said Tuesday, referring to the Hawkeyes' 67-65 Sunday loss to Northwestern. "If you dwell on it, it's going to snowball into another one."

The Hawkeyes can barely afford another one.

Iowa (16-7 overall, 5-4 Big Ten) makes its first court appearance since the Northwestern debacle -- in which it blew a 15-point second-half lead -- when it plays at Minnesota (14-9, 3-6).

Tipoff is 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

A couple of meetings -- one of the captains, the other a players-only gathering -- followed Sunday's loss.

"As a senior, you don't want your season to slip away," guard Jaime Printy said. "It's February, so you want to go out strong.

"We just need to win. We haven't been playing very (well) offensively or defensively. We don't need to panic, but at the same time, we can't have any more games like that."

Theairra Taylor said, "We're all ready to get back out and play and get a big win on the road. We were a little down, but now I think our minds are back in a good place."

Taylor is one of four Hawkeyes that are native Minnesotans. Bethany Doolittle, Kali Peschel and Kayla Timmerman are the others.

"I'm very excited to go back," said Peschel, a freshman. "I grew up a Gopher fan. Everybody wants to play for your home-state team. It just wasn't the fit for me. Iowa has been that fit."

Minnesota is led by Rachel Banham, who is averaging 21.1 points per game.

"She's an extremely good player, all Big Ten caliber," Bluder said. "We have to keep an eye on her."

IOWA (16-7, 5-4) at MINNESOTA (14-9, 3-6)

Where: Williams Arena, Minneapolis

Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. Thursday

TV: Big Ten Network

Radio: KXIC-AM (800), KMJM-AM (1360)

Notable: Iowa is in the midst of its first two-game losing streak of the season, and the Hawkeyes' RPI has dropped from 13 to 34 in the past week. Four Iowa players are native Minnesotans -- Theairra Taylor, Bethany Doolittle, Kali Peschel and Kayla Timmerman. Samantha Logic is 10th in the nation in assists (6.8 per game) while Jaime Printy ranks fourth in free throw accuracy (92.9 percent). Rachel Banham leads the Gophers at 21.1 points per game. Minnesota's 71.1 points per game ranks third in the Big Ten.

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