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IOWA CITY - Despite its unranked status and little practice time, Iowa head women's basketball coach Lisa Bluder is firmly confident in her team going into Wednesday's road matchup against No. 10 Indiana.
'We played those last three quarters pretty well against Maryland. I think that just kind of rolled into Michigan and into Wisconsin,” Bluder said. 'The first times you play against Top 25 teams and you're not a Top 25, you're kind of in awe a little bit. We're not there, we're not in awe anymore.”
The Hawkeyes are on a two-game winning streak - an 89-67 defeat of No. 12 Michigan and 84-70 road victory over Wisconsin. At the helm of it all is freshman Caitlin Clark, who earned her 20th Big Ten weekly honors on Monday.
Clark is No. 2 in the country in points per game (26.9) and assists per game (7.1). Junior Monika Czinano leads the nation in field goal percentage (69.23).
'Right now our offense is ranked as the No. 1 efficient offense in America,” Bluder said. 'I don't think anybody in postseason play is going to want to go against that.”
Where the team has lacked is consistency on defense, specifically gathering rebounds for extra possessions, but Bluder said she sees improvement in boxing out and zone defense.
She believes this season's ups and downs have given the Hawkeyes ample time to become a ruthless competitor in the Big Ten tournament.
'Everybody likes experience, but sometimes youth isn't a bad thing either,” Bluder said. 'They're naive, they don't know what they don't know, and sometimes that can be a good thing.”
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