IOWA CITY — To rebound, the Iowa Hawkeyes must rebound.
Whipped on the glass in a loss Friday, 12th-ranked Iowa looks to bounce back Sunday in a Big Ten women’s basketball game at Penn State.
Tipoff is 1 p.m. (Iowa time) at Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, Pa.
It’s the second leg of what has been a travel challenge for Iowa. The Hawkeyes (16-5 overall, 7-3 Big Ten) flew to Ann Arbor, Mich., Wednesday for a scheduled Thursday contest against Michigan. Thursday morning, they found out their 5 p.m. game had been postponed until 11 a.m. Friday.
They dropped a 90-81 verdict, surrendering 24 offensive rebounds to the Wolverines and getting bombarded 44-23 on the boards.
“They shot the ball 71 times to our 57,” Coach Lisa Bluder told hawkeyesports.com after the game. “It’s hard to win any game when somebody is shooting that many more times than you.”
The Hawkeyes flew back to Iowa City after the game, then were scheduled to jet to Pennsylvania on Saturday.
While Iowa has been scrambling with travel itineraries, Penn State (10-10, 3-6) has been resting. The Lady Lions also had a game postponed Thursday (at Michigan State, moved to Feb. 27), but that decision was made in advance, before they left campus.
Now, they’ve had additional time to prepare for the Hawkeyes.
Friday’s loss dropped the Hawkeyes into sole possession of third place. They are two games behind league-leading Rutgers (17-4, 9-1), one game in back of Maryland (19-2, 8-2).
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All three of the contenders have eight games remaining — four at home, four on the road. Rutgers’ remaining opponents are a combined 35-45 in the Big Ten, Maryland’s are 38-42, Iowa’s are 38-40.
As focused as she is on her team, Bluder does admit to keeping track of scores and standings.
“We do scoreboard-watch a little,” Bluder said, adding that director of basketball operations Kathryn Reynolds is in charge of a standings board inside the Iowa locker room.
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