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

Women’s hoops itching to win

Iowa forward Kali Peschel drives the ball down the court against the Robert Morris defense, the Hawkeyes defeated the Colonials 69-50 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City,Iowa on Dec. 6,2015(The Daily Iowan/Anthony Vazquez)

The Iowa women’s basketball team fell against Minnesota on Feb. 15, in a type of loss they’ve faced pretty much all season — those of the heartbreaking variety.

The Hawkeyes are now 15-11 overall, 5-9 in the Big Ten, which places them 10th in the conference.

However, their performance against Minnesota was one of their best efforts in a very long time. The Hawks held the Gophers to only 28 points in the first half but could do absolutely nothing against Minnesota’s Rachel Banham, who scored 35 points.

Iowa out-rebounded Minnesota 46-38, with a large portion of those coming from freshman Megan Gustafson, who grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds. The Hawks also committed 13 turnovers, which is a big improvement from its most recent contests.

“We just couldn’t keep it going through the whole game,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “The only thing that we see is 2 fewer points than them and just one defensive stop away from a great victory.”

Four-game losing streak

After the loss against the Gophers, the Hawkeyes have now lost four games in a row, the longest losing streak Iowa has undergone this season and the longest in three years.

After going on a three-game slide earlier in conference play, the Hawks started a “new season” in which the players said they left everything from past games behind.

“It’s frustrating just because we do believe we’re better than we’re showing,” junior Ally Disterhoft said. “We believe we’re better than a lot of the teams we’ve lost to. Things are going to come around; we just have to keep working.”

Sophomore Chase Coley noted that with each loss, the team changes its mentality and has taken away something positive from each game.

“We’ve noticed things that if we would’ve done things differently, that’s what we could change moving forward,” she said. “If you see what you’re doing wrong, you can fix it, but if you’re just losing and you don’t know why, then you’re just like, ‘Crap, what do we do?’ But I feel from game to game, we’ve been improving on those things.”

Big Ten Tournament

The Big Ten Tournament, which will begin on March 2, is certainly something the Hawkeyes aim to succeed in.

Iowa has just four games remaining, and Bluder is still hopeful her team can make a run in the conference tournament. The Hawkeyes need a strong finish to the year to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

In the latest RPI rankings, Iowa comes in at 57, though ESPN does not currently project the team to receive a bid. However, the winner of the Big Ten Tournament receives an automatic place.

Regardless of whether the Hawkeyes win the conference, they need to win some games, and Bluder hopes Iowa’s strong schedule can help get it in.

“There’s no doubt that this conference is so strong, and we should be rewarded for that,” she said. “I think the conference tournament will have a little bit more volume or speak for us, being on the side of things this year.”

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