Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa women's basketball schedule about to make a turn

No. 14 Iowa meets No. 20 West Virginia in Junkanoo Jam semifinal

Iowa guard Tania Davis (11) passes the ball against Oral Roberts on Nov. 9. The Hawkeyes face West Virginia in the semifinals of the Junkanoo Jam on Friday. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Iowa guard Tania Davis (11) passes the ball against Oral Roberts on Nov. 9. The Hawkeyes face West Virginia in the semifinals of the Junkanoo Jam on Friday. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — The beginning of the Iowa women’s basketball season has been hijacked by some big, big numbers.

Such as 100 points per game. Like 62 percent from the field. And 30.7 assists per game. Facts and figures you know are unsustainable in the long run.

Then, on the other side of the spectrum, there’s this: 2-12. That’s the combined record for the Hawkeyes’ first three opponents.

“Obviously, our level of competition is about to heat up,” Coach Lisa Bluder said Monday, before the 14th-Hawkeyes (3-0) hopped on a plane for the Bahamas.

“Hopefully, we’re about to find out what we’re made of.”

Iowa faces No. 20 West Virginia (3-0) in a semifinal of the Junkanoo Jam in Bimini. Tipoff is 4:15 p.m. Friday.

The Hawkeyes will meet Florida State (4-1) or Eastern Kentucky (0-3) on Saturday. The opponent and time is dependent on Thursday’s outcome.

So looking ahead, if Iowa meets Florida State on Friday, it will face four “Power Five” opponents in a two-week span. The Hawkeyes travel to No. 1 Notre Dame on Nov. 29, and host Iowa State on Dec. 5.

Yeah, it’s about to heat up.

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“I won’t tell the team about that,” Bluder said. “They might freak out. We’ll just stick with West Virginia.”

There’s enough to chew on there.

The Mountaineers have won their first three games — against Coppin State, NJIT and Bryant — by lopsided verdicts of 78-37, 95-50 and 94-48. Five WVU players are averaging in double figures, led by Tynice Martin at 20.7 points per game.

Naomi Davenport averages a double-double (14.7 ppg, 10.7 rpg), and West Virginia has a 6-foot-6 presence in the post in Theresa Ekhelar.

“They have some really good scorers on that team,” Bluder said. “And they definitely have height.”

Bluder was asked how she will pace point guard Tania Davis, who has been effective in her return from her second ACL injury, playing on back-to-back days.

“We’ll be mindful of it in practice beforehand,” she said. “But we’re not going to worry about it against West Virginia. We’re playing that game to win, and we’ll worry about the next day, the next day.”

Megan Gustafson is 2-for-2 in Big Ten player-of the-week honors. The senior is averaging 24 points and 13 rebounds per game, shooting 75 percent from the floor.

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

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