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Editor’s note: This is 23rd in a series counting down the top 50 moments in Iowa Hawkeyes women’s athletics history in the 50 days leading up to the 50th anniversary of Title IX in June.
Lisa Bluder’s 2000-01 Iowa women’s basketball team didn’t look much different from Angie Lee’s 1999-2000 group.
“We basically had the same team,” Bluder told The Gazette. “We had one transfer from Illinois, but she couldn't play that year because back then you had to sit out.”
The results? Well, there’s a reason Bluder called it a “magical” season.
With Lee, the team went 9-18, including 6-10 in the Big Ten. With Bluder, those players went 21-10 overall and 12-4 in the Big Ten and won the Big Ten tournament title.
The Hawkeyes went from nine overall wins in 1999-2000 to nine nonconference wins in 2000-01. Teams that bested the Hawkeyes in 1999-2000 — Marquette, Penn State and Illinois, to name a few — lost to Bluder’s first team by double-digits.
“It just was amazing to have that group of women that really weren’t too receptive to us at the beginning completely turn around and buy in and have so much success at the end,” Bluder said.
Iowa earned the second seed in the conference tournament and defeated Illinois, Indiana and regular-season champion Purdue, the No. 5 team in the country, to win the tournament crown.
The championship was a nice birthday present for point guard Cara Consuegra. Her second present was Big Ten Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors.
Iowa earned a bid to the NCAA tournament for the first time in three years and had an overtime win over Oregon before losing to host Utah in the second round.
“There's been so many great seasons, but that one always will stick out in my mind,” Bluder said.
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