The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Slippery slope for women’s hoops

Sophomore Whitney Jennings goes up for a shot against Tennessee-Martin Sunday Nov. 15th, 2015. The Hawkeyes overcame an early deficit to win the game, 62-56. (The Daily Iowan/Kyle Close)

The Iowa women’s basketball team is now 3-5 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have racked up more losses in the conference than they did last season.

Many of the team’s errors have come from its lackluster defense, and that been part of the reason Iowa has lost its last three games.

Turnovers per game — 16.4

Iowa has struggled tremendously with turnovers during Big Ten play. Junior guards Ally Disterhoft and Alexa Kastanek have 109 combined turnovers

The Hawkeyes also have the worst turnover margin in the conference, minus-2.3. Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder noted last week in the team’s weekly press conference that sometimes she feels that her players are “too scared to make a pass or turnover.” If they are scared, she said, turnovers happen.

Most of Iowa’s opponents have been able to capitalize on those turnovers. In the Hawks’ contest against No. 8 Maryland, Iowa committed 16 turnovers, leading to 18 points for the Terps.

Points allowed in last three games — 84 per game

When Iowa dropped its last three games to powerhouse opponents in the conference, they weren’t losses that faded away easily.

Sophomore Chase Coley noted that the Hawkeyes should take their losses to “heart and playing with more emotion on the court.”

Iowa has gone up against some talented, physical teams, and the Hawks’ relative lack of height hasn’t helped. While Iowa’s roster is mostly composed of solid shooters, there aren’t many tough and physical athletes. Coley and freshman Megan Gustafson play well in the paint but typically get outplayed when they face aggressive teams such as Penn State and Maryland.

The sophomore and freshman together average 9.8 rebounds, Coley averages 10.2 points per game, and Gustafson averages 8.4.

Iowa has also had issues defending the 3-point line. Team’s are hitting triples at a 32.3-percent clip, which ranks ninth in conference play.

Bringing out the “emotion” that Coley talked about last week, and being a bit more physical could help these two athletes and the team as the season progresses.

3-point shooting — 32.2 percent

During much of Iowa’s nonconference games, the squad was known for its consistent shooting from downtown.

Kastanek gave the team a lot of spark early on, but that has seemed to slide away; the junior is now 45-of-123 from behind the arc. In Iowa’s sloppy loss against the Nittany Lions, she was 1-of-8 from the 3-point line.

RELATED: Iowa women’s basketball team fought but came up short

Iowa is shooting .322 from downtown on 130-of-404 attempts, which ranks 11th in the Big Ten. The Hawks shoot about 6.5 3 pointers per game. If the Hawkeyes can get back in the groove and find its rhythm from behind the arc, things might go better for them.

More to Discover