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Editor’s note: This is 36th 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.
The result of a nail-biting 1987 Elite Eight game in Monroe, La., was far from anything to celebrate for Iowa women’s basketball.
The Hawkeyes came up one point short in a game with 13 lead changes and a Final Four spot on the line. The possible game-winning shot from about 8 feet out was off the mark.
But then-head coach C. Vivian Stringer pointed to a different, more-abstract win for the Hawkeyes after that game.
“People across the nation are familiar with our men’s team,” Stringer said after that 1987 game, according to the Daily Iowan archives. “Now you know about us.”
That’s because the Hawkeyes’ dominance under Stringer reached another level in 1987 — and again in 1988, going to the Elite Eight for the first two times in program history.
In 1987, No. 3-seeded Iowa cruised past New Orleans with a 22-point win in its first game and then slid past No. 2-seeded Georgia with a 62-60 win to go to the Elite Eight.
Iowa then reached No. 1 in the Associated Press poll for the first time in the 1987-88 season. The Hawkeyes first earned the top spot on Jan. 4, according to College Poll Archive, and held onto it for eight weeks.
Iowa had combined records of 55-7 overall and 34-2 in the Big Ten in the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons.
From Jan. 1987 through Feb. 1988 — a 14-month period — the Hawkeyes lost just three games. All three were on the road.
The Hawkeyes again advanced to the Elite Eight in 1988, but No. 1-seeded Iowa lost by 20 to No. 2-seeded Long Beach State.
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