Peschel sparks women’s hoops

Iowa+forward+Kali+Peschel+escapes+North+Dakotas+defense+at+the+Carver-Hakweye+Arena+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+13%2C+2015.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+North+Dakota%2C+83-61.+%28The+Daily+Iowan.Peter+Kim%29

Peter Kim

Iowa forward Kali Peschel escapes North Dakota’s defense at the Carver-Hakweye Arena on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. The Hawkeyes defeated the North Dakota, 83-61. (The Daily Iowan.Peter Kim)

Rod Engblom, [email protected]

With last season’s seniors graduated, there have been many questions about who will step up for the team to contribute to the scoring the Hawkeye women’s basketball lost.

One is senior Kali Peschel.

“We needed her,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We’ve told her that we’ve needed her to step up and be more of a leader for our basketball team, and she was voted captain by her peers.”

Last season, Peschel averaged 16.4 minutes a game and 5.1 points a game. She had 20 assists on the season.

Peschel came out strong in the first regular-season game against North Dakota on Nov. 13, scoring a double-double in the first half and finishing with 17 points and 14 rebounds in 29 minutes.

“The first half was a little rough on the offensive end,” Peschel said after the game against North Dakota. “But I found a way to score getting offensive boards, and my teammates did a great job in setting me up for the shot. “

Peschel’s strong start also helped to rally her teammates after the team came out flat at the beginning of the game.

Teammate and co-captain junior Ally Disterhoft believes that Peschel was key in the victory over North Dakota, rallying the team both on and off the court.

“I think Kali and Whitney were key, and Kali especially on the boards,” Disterhoft said. “Bringing that aggression on offense and defense really helped us and then just being vocal at halftime bringing everyone back together and helping set people up in the second half, too.”

Peschel accounted for 8 of 19 of the team’s offensive rebounds along with 6 on defense.

Not only was Peschel solid on the boards, she also was able to score from behind the 3-point line.

She shot 50 percent from behind the 3-point line (3-of-6), which wasn’t unexpected based on her prior stats.

“She shot 43 percent or 45 percent from the 3-point range last year, so she’s definitely capable,” Bluder said.

While not as strong as in the North Dakota game, Peschel also had a solid performance in the Tennessee-Martin game, in which she scored 7 points with 1 assist.

Although the increase in production from Peschel has been positive for the team, all the Hawkeyes need to step up their game.

“We would love to get those kind of rebounds out of Kali all the time,” Bluder said. “She’s somebody we expect to crash, but you know, we have three people that we want crashing on the floor all the time.”

While Peschel has stepped up in the first game, only time will tell how the team will perform.

But for now, the notion that the team won’t perform to the same standards as it did last season seem to be going away, thanks in part to the quality performance and leadership by Peschel.

“Kali was playing great basketball at the end of last year,” Bluder said after the North Dakota game. “She knows that we need her, and I’m so happy the way she hit the offensive glass tonight.”

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