IOWA CITY — Here comes the press.
After four games of facing minimal defensive pressure, the Iowa Hawkeyes will get a heavy dose of it at the Puerto Rico Clasico women’s basketball event at San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“We’re lucky in that all three teams are similar defensively,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “They’re all pressing teams, and that can be taxing on you.
“We haven’t seen any pressure yet. Now we’ll see it three games in a row.”
That pressure will be a test for the Hawkeyes (3-1), who have averaged 17 turnovers per game. The assist-to-turnover ratio isn’t what the Hawkeyes have been accustomed to, 72 assists to 68 miscues.
The Hawkeyes left for San Juan on Monday. They’ll play three games in four days — against Cincinnati (3-2) at 1:30 p.m. (Iowa time) Wednesday, Towson (2-3) at 11 a.m. Thursday and Washington (3-1) at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“We want the team to bond and enjoy Puerto Rico, and just get out of the cold," Bluder said. "We have to teach the freshmen how to be on a road trip.”
It’s also a chance to try to find a flow, rotation combinations that work well together.
“We definitely have an offensive team and a defensive team, but we haven’t found a go-to five yet,” Bluder said. “It has changed game by game. Some games they’re up, some games they’re down.
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“We’ve learned that we’ve got to get Gabbie (Marshall) and McKenna (Warnock) in the game early.”
Marshall has made the biggest impact among the freshmen. The Cincinnati native has been the Hawkeyes’ biggest outside threat, making 9 of 15 shots from 3-point distance. She is averaging 8.8 points in 21.5 minutes per game.
Senior Kathleen Doyle leads the team at 16.3 points and 5.8 assists per contest.
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