Hawkeye Women 12-2
By Don Lund
The Iowa Hawkeye women’s basketball team finished the non-conference schedule with a 88-62 win over North Dakota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday.
“I thought we had a slow start, but once we got into the flow of this thing our fast break really got us back into this game,” said head coach Lisa Bluder. “Three-point shooting at the end of the half really helped.”
That’s the fun part of watching this team… when they get on a roll.
It all starts with Samantha Logic, who had 21 points and eight assists.
Samantha sees the floor so well and is at her best when running the fast break. She sparked a 25-4 run in the first half when Iowa was trailing, 24-20.
“Sam making great decisions from that point guard position,” said coach Bluder. “She got into the paint so many times in transition. That’s what we need to force. If they take that away now we’ll pitch for the 3-point shot.”
Let’s talk about the options Samantha has.
During that run, Melissa Dixon, Ally Disterhoft, Kali Peschel and Alexa Kastanek all hit 3-pointers.
Samantha and Theairra Taylor also scored.
For the game, six Hawkeyes were in double-figures including Bethany Doolittle, and that’s the style Lisa Bluder coaches.
The Hawks had a 20-0 advantage on fast break points and out-rebounded North Dakota, 40-37. That’s pretty good considering ND had two good-size post players, plus Bethany got into foul trouble early and had to sit out most of the first half.
For the Hawkeyes to have a good season, both freshmen have to step up.
Ally Disterhoft started the season strong and has been playing consistent so far.
The 6-0 former West High Trojan has played in all 14 games, scored in double-figures nine times, is tied for second in team rebounds (87) and is fourth in scoring (11.9).
Ally is shooting a team high 43 percent from 3-point range and is a 71 percent shooter from the free throw line.
Alexa Kastanek has played in every game, averaging 14 minutes per game and 5.3 points, with 24 assists to 19 turnovers.
They both bring a lot of energy and for Ally to be second on the team in rebounds is really amazing.
Sophomores Kali Peschel and Clair Till have also stepped up their game.
Kali didn’t have any starts last year and finished the season with 29 rebounds and 16 points.
This year, Kali has started every game, averaged 24 minutes and is second on the team in rebounding with 87. Kali had a team-high 10 against North Dakota.
Clair has played in all 14 games and averages 16 minutes.
Clair is only 6-0 tall but sometimes has to come in and play the center position against taller post players.
Taylor, Doolittle and Melissa Dixon have shown a lot of improvement.
Last year, Theairra averaged 8.7 points per game and shot 39 percent from the floor. This year “The,” a co-captain, is averaging 10.4 points and is shooting 42 percent from the floor.
Last season, Bethany averaged 7.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and shot 42 percent from the floor. This season, the 6-4 junior is averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and is shooting 56 percent from the floor. That’s a huge jump in shooting percentage.
Melissa averaged 10 points per game last year and shot 71 percent from the free throw line. This year Melissa is leading Iowa, averaging 15.2 points and is shooting lights-out from the free throw line, making 36-39 (92 percent).
Samantha Logic is the floor leader on this team. The thing that’s surprising about Sam is how strong she is.
A point guard leading team in rebounds?
Samantha has 89 rebounds for the season and is leading the Big Ten is assists with 96. She also averages 14 points and is leading the team in steals with 26.
The balance– even though Iowa goes mostly eight deep– should produce a lot of wins when the Big Ten season starts Thursday, Jan. 2 at Indiana.