Iowa women’s basketball looking to rest and recover ahead of two-game stretch

After a three-game opening week for the Hawkeyes, Iowa took a rest day in preparation for games against Southern and Drake this week.


Grace Smith

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark goes up for a layup during an exhibition women’s basketball game between Iowa and Truman State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bulldogs 102-32. Clark shot 9-17 from the field.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Iowa women’s basketball had a packed first week of action with three games in six days. The Hawkeyes picked up three victories over New Hampshire, Samford, and the University of Northern Iowa.

Now, Iowa will look to rest and recover before its two matchups with Southern and Drake University this week.

“I think having an off day is super nice for us to just regroup after a long week,” sophomore point guard Caitlin Clark said. ”Not having an off day and playing three games in six days is a lot, but I think that is something we have to get used to.”

Iowa kicked off its season last week on Tuesday as it soundly defeated New Hampshire, 93-50. The Hawkeyes faced a quick turnaround to another game on Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, when they took down Samford, 91-54. Finally, Iowa traveled to Cedar Falls to take a victory over UNI, 82-61.

The Hawkeyes had an off day Monday ahead of its Wednesday matchup, and will have another off day on Thursday before playing Drake on Sunday.

“Today is an off day for us, and we’ll have one day to prepare for Southern,” head coach Lisa Bluder said Monday. “Southern is playing Marquette today, so I think we’ll have the advantage of legs and have the advantage of home court. This is a team that goes out and plays an unbelievable schedule to begin the year, so they really challenge themselves and it should be good for us. I am glad that we have a day off. Of course, we play Drake on Sunday and then we leave for Cancun on Monday”.

As Iowa works through the nonconference season, Bluder is also chasing a historic career milestone. Bluder has won 798 games as an NCAA Division I head coach — two victories away from 800 career victories.

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Bluder started her coaching career at St. Ambrose University and compiled 169 wins. The coach then moved to Drake University and amassed 187 wins in 10 seasons with the Bulldogs.

The head Hawkeye, who has been with Iowa since 2000, has led Iowa women’s basketball to two Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship titles in 2001 and 2019.

Only 13 head coaches have accumulated 800 or more wins in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history.

This week, Bluder will have the opportunity to join the historic list of coaches.

“There is so much you can say about coach Bluder, but I don’t think she gets all the attention and recognition that she deserves,” Clark said. I am super lucky to play for her. And, I mean, 800 wins, that’s top-15 all time. I think she’s actually 14th right now, and that’s incredible.”

Bluder’s chase to 800 wins will continue Wednesday as No. 8 Iowa returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena to take on Southern at 6:30 p.m. The Hawkeyes will then host Drake on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Iowa will then travel to Mexico over Thanksgiving Break to participate in the Cancun Challenge. The Hawkeyes will take on USC and Seton Hall on Nov. 25 and 26.