tiger hawkComing off a seventh straight trip to the NCAA Tournament hopes are high for the Iowa women’s basketball team as they get set to open the new season Friday night at home against South Carolina Upstate. The Hawkeyes rolled to an easy win over St. Ambrose in exhibition play.

“I feel good coming off of our first exhibition game, but we are ready to go for real now. Once we start on Friday it almost becomes a blur, because we have so many games to play,”s Iowa coach Lisa Bluder says. She says Upstate will provide a challenge as they return all five starters from last year’s team and are a very quick team that is guard oriented.

Bluder wants to see the Hawkeyes make progress on defense, especially in the transition against a quick team. She says they also need to improve their zone defense.