Iowa visits Drake on Saturday for the 63rd meeting in the series and the Hawkeyes will try to lock up the mythical state title as well as end the Bulldog’s Big Four dominance. The Hawkeyes are 9-2 and are coming off back-to-back in state victories over UNI and Iowa State and this will be their first game since finishing up final exams.
Iowa coach Todd Lickliter says calls Drake a "huge exam" for the basketball team too as he says Drake is a terrific team with poise, balance, unselfishness that is well coached. Drake is known for its three point shooting but Lickliter says the Bulldogs can score in a number of ways.
He says you can get tricked into thinking they’re going to rely only on the three, when that’s not the case as they drive and cut and post you up, but you still have to respect their three-point shooting.
The Bulldogs are 8-3 and opened the in-state series last week with a come from behind win at Iowa State. Drake coach Mark Phelps says it’s a big deal and he’s impress with the pageantry and excitement of the Big Four games. The Bulldogs have won nine straight Big Four games and with a victory would take another step toward a third straight mythical state title.
Phelps says it would mean a lot to the players and fans and entire Drake community, but they are approaching this game as they do every other game. Phelps says there could be a lot of three pointers launched in this one, as both teams are getting a lot of production from the three-point line. Iowa leads the all-time series with 53 victories to nine for the Bulldogs but Drake has won the last two.
The Iowa Hawkeye women can also lockup the mythical state crown with a victory at Drake in the first game of the doubleheader. Iowa is 6-4 and coach Lisa Bluder makes another return to the school she coached at for ten years and led to four NCAA Tournaments.
Bluder says it has lessened as she has been away for nine years, but she was still at Drake longer than she has been at Iowa, and it is still a "special place." Bluder says winning the mythical state title was the first thing the Hawkeyes wanted to accomplish this year. She says they really wanted to be able to accomplish that and it has been a great motivation.
Drake is 6-3 and the Bulldogs have won five of their last six games. Drake coach Amy Stephens says they expect a great crowd and great game. The Bulldogs will need a big effort against the Hawkeyes, as she says they have size and athleticism. Stephens says her team has been playing much better basketball lately and looks forward to the game.
Iowa has won six in a row against the Bulldogs but Drake leads the all-time series 24-16.