Hawkeyes seek to tone down turnovers against Samford

Following its loss to No. 13 Florida State, Iowa looks to bounce back against unranked Samford.

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The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily

Iowa forward Hannah Stewart drives to the hoop during the Iowa/Samford basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bulldogs, 80-59. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Sean Bock, [email protected]

After suffering their first loss of the season to No. 13 Florida State, the Iowa women’s basketball team will try to bounce back on Dec. 3 against Samford in Carver-Hawkeye at 2 p.m.

Despite finishing on the wrong end of the stick against the Seminoles, the Hawkeyes feel confident that they can grow and learn from the loss.

“I hope they feel like they gained confidence,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We led the No. 13 team for almost 31 minutes. So I hope they gain confidence that they can play with anybody in the country. Florida State has five senior starters on that team. They’re an experienced team, and we played them right down to the end. So I’m proud of my team for keeping in the moment and playing hard. I think there’s a lot that we can gain from this game, and there’s certainly a lot that we can gain.”

Iowa shot 61 percent from the field Wednesday night but had a season-high 21 turnovers, which ultimately ruined its upset chances.

On the season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 14.8 turnovers and 87.4 points per game, which rank 15th in the country.

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If the Hawkeyes find a way to limit the miscues on the offensive end, they could average nearly 100 points per contest.

“I mean, there was definitely some passes that we weren’t reading the defense very well,” Bluder said. “When the defense is on the high side, you can’t make a pass into the post. Some reads that we can work on to make it better to avoid some of those situations.”

Megan Gustafson has been the catalyst thus far for Iowa.

The junior forward averages 22.9 points and 12.9 rebounds, third in the nation. Though Gustafson’s seven-straight double-double streak was snapped on Wednesday night, she still had 34 points and 9 rebounds while shooting 15-of-18 from the field.

“Megan, again, if she’s not one of the best centers in America, I don’t know who is,” Bluder said. “She continues to give me ‘wow’ moments. I see some of the things she does on the floor, and I’m in awe of her abilities. But everybody shot the ball well tonight, not just Megan. Everybody was involved. I think there was a point where we made 15-straight shots. That’s just unheard of. Great job offensively.”

Samford enters the Dec. 3 matchup at 2-5, which includes a 25-point loss to Florida State on Nov. 26.

The Bulldogs are led by senior guard Hannah Nichols, who averages 16.7 points and 6.0 assists per game. Samford is well-balanced; it has six players scoring at least 5 points per game.

Following the contest, the Hawkeyes will play in their first true road test against Iowa State in Ames on Dec. 6.

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