Quick turnaround for Hawkeyes

Women's basketball: Defending-champion South Dakota awaits in WNIT 2nd round

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IOWA CITY — The milestone has been met and surpassed.

The focus now turns solely to advancement. And the defending champion awaits.

Iowa (18-13) faces a quick turnaround — 42 hours, to be precise — between its first two games of the WNIT basketball tournament.

Round 2 is 3 p.m. Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against last year’s champion, South Dakota (23-8).

“(Assistant coach) Jan (Jensen) has the scout on them. She has watched three or four of their games pretty closely,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said.

“We’ll be ready to go,” Megan Gustafson said. “We’re going to get some good sleep, rest and get ready to have a good practice (Friday).”

Iowa’s first-round win — 95-74 over Missouri State — was a festive occasion.

Ally Disterhoft became the school’s all-time leader in career scoring (2,061 points). Gustafson set the single-season record for rebounds (307). And the Hawkeyes set a WNIT record for field-goal percentage (62.3 percent).

Disterhoft hit the record-breaker (Cindy Haugejorde scored 2,059 points between 1976 and 1980) with 4:06 remaining Thursday.

Before that, Bluder and Disterhoft had a brief conversation.

“I said, ‘Do you want to get it tonight, or do you want to get it Saturday,’” Bluder said. “And she said, ‘Tonight.’

“I think she just wanted to get it over with, and so I was going to listen to what she said.”

The record broken, the focus shifts.

“Hopefully we can just go out there and compete really hard and make good things happen for the team,” Disterhoft said.

South Dakota finished fourth in the Summit League, then lost to Omaha in the first round of the conference tournament.

The Coyotes routed North Dakota, 78-55, in the first round Thursday, their seventh straight WNIT win.

Dawn Plitzuweit is the Coyotes’ first-year coach. Four players average in double figures, led by Allison Arens (5-9 sophomore guard) at 16.9 points per game.

South Dakota is the national leader in free-throw accuracy at 80.4 percent.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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