Wrestlers still undefeated
The Hawkeye wrestlers won two matches while the Hawkeye women were 1-1. The Hawk men got smoked by Michigan in last week’s action.
The Hawkeye women picked up a big win last week, knocking off Ohio State in the Big Ten opener at Carver-Hawkeye Arena last Thursday, 77-71, in overtime.
First of all, the Buckeyes were ranked 24th in the nation, plus this is the only time these two teams play unless they meet in the Big Ten Tournament.
Tayler Hill, the preseason All-Big Ten selection, had a career-high 34 points but no other Buckeyes had double figures.
The Hawkeyes’ balanced attack had four players in double figures and that’s tough to stop.
“They have one person in double figures,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder. “We had four people in double figures and that’s what we are all about.”
Ohio State was taking away the 3-point shot as Iowa was only 2-4 from behind the arc so the Hawks went inside and had a 40-34 advantage in the paint. They also won the rebound battle, 39-33.
The Buckeyes were checking Jaime Printy all night but she still finished with 14 points, including four layups.
Theairra Taylor had her best game so far with 19 points, while Samantha Logic and Morgan Johnson finished with 17 and 16 points respectively.
Morgan hit two free throws to send it into overtime, while Samantha had eight assists and hit four big free throws in the extra period.
Iowa couldn’t keep the momentum going and lost to Michigan, 68-64, at Carver Sunday.
The Hawks got outscored from the floor 24-23, from 3-point range 10-9 and from the free throw line 10-9. They were also out rebounded, 35-32.
Iowa had decent balance with Melissa (17), Samantha (16), Theairra (14) and Morgan (10), but Bethany Doolittle was shut out and Jaime had only 6 points.
Samantha also had nine rebounds, nine assists and three steals playing 38 minutes.
The Hawks couldn’t overcome the one-two punch of Rachel Sheffer and Kate Thompson who combined for 45 points.
Lisa Bluder said she didn’t think the Hawks were ready to play. “That’s my complete responsibility.”
That’s what good coaches like Lisa and Kirk Ferentz say because they don’t like to throw their players under the bus after a loss.
I’ve talked to a lot of former players that either played for Iowa or another college and they all told me the players have to take some responsibility for being ready to go.
I know they’re not professionals, but they are recruited to play and given a free education.
When the game starts, the coach can’t be on the court or field with them.
It was payback time for the Iowa wrestlers last Friday at Carver.
Last year, Ohio State won seven out of 10 matches and took down the Hawkeyes at Columbus, 21-9.
Last Friday, the Hawks won seven of 10 matches, winning 22-9.
“We did some good things but I need to see more toughness,” said head coach Tom Brands. “We’re waiting to get good and waiting will not get it done. We can be better.”
Is there any question that Iowa is good, or should I say, could the Hawkeyes be great?
The Hawks’ big three had good wins with Matt McDonough (10-5), Tony Ramos (30-14) and Derek St. John (4-2) remaining undefeated.
Tony was planning on getting a shot at NCAA champion Logan Stieber, who beat Tony three times last year, but Logan didn’t wrestle because he was injured, I guess.
How about Mike Evans, ranked seventh in the nation at 174, taking second-ranked Nick Heflin to his back in overtime, winning 9-4.
That could have been a pin and the crowd went wild!
Nathan Burak had a big win at 197 with a 3-2 victory, but Bobby Telford, ranked fourth, did not show up at heavyweight and lost 3-2.
On Sunday, Iowa won seven of 10 matches and took down Purdue, 29-9, even though Matt McDonough, two-time NCAA champ, didn’t wrestle.
“It was a good win and now we move forward,” said coach Brands. “I was looking for energy on the mat and we saw some of that today.”
The Hawks scored bonus points in five matches including a pin by Mike Evans at 174.
Tony Ramos, Nick Moore and Ethen Lofthouse had major decisions and Mark Ballweg had a tech fall.
The Hawkeyes looked more aggressive and should be ready to travel to Oklahoma State this Sunday.
I knew the Hawks had a tough schedule opening the Big Ten season.
They hosted Indiana last week when the fifth-ranked Hoosiers, who were ranked No. 1 before their loss to Butler, took out Iowa at Carver, 69-65.
I thought Adam Woodbury played Cody Zeller, the preseason player of the year, tough in the first half, but when Devyn Marble goes 1-14 from the floor, Iowa was in trouble. Devyn did go 12-13 from the free throw line, but that wasn’t enough.
It was a sellout crowd, which was nice to see, and they were loud.
Aaron White and Mike Gesell had good games with 15 and 13 points respectively, but the Hawks only hit 3-17 (17.6%) from 3-point range.
Iowa followed that up by traveling to Michigan last Sunday and getting blown out by the second-ranked Wolverines, 92-67.
Boy, is the Big Ten good or what?
I’m not sure if there were many highlights to this game, although the Hawks played tough early.
Four of Michigan’s five starters were in double figures and All-American Trey Burke had 12 assists.
Can you believe Trey was committed to Penn State at one time?
Iowa couldn’t match the Wolverines’ quickness and dropped to 11-4, 0-2 in the Big Ten.
The bad news is Iowa starts the Big Ten season 0-2... the good news is Iowa doesn’t have to play Indiana or Michigan again unless they meet in the Big Ten Tournament.