The Iowa women downed Miami 88-70 Sunday in Iowa City to advance to the Sweet 16 of the women’s NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996. It’s the first time the team has advanced this far under head coach Lisa Bluder.
“It’s amazing, you know we’ve come so close so many times, but to finally be able to do it here in Carver-Hawkeye Arena with the unbelievable fans who came out to see us today. They were huge, they supported us. It’s so great to be a Hawkeye,” Bluder says. Five Hawkeyes scored in double figures, including Bethany Doolittle who had 22 points and 11 rebounds, Ally Disterhoft had 15 points, Melissa Dixon and Samantha Logic each had 12 points and Whitney Jennings 11.
“I’m so proud of this group of seniors that have all year long, and for four years have worked their butts off out here,” Bluder says. Iowa led by seven at the half, but Bluder says she told the team to keep pushing. “We’re going to stick with our game plan, we are going to keep trying, we are going to keep grinding, because sooner or later they are going to wear down,” Bluder says. “Sooner or later you are going to wear that defense down as long as you keep pushing it, and goods things are going to happen.”
The win put the Hawkeyes at 18-0 in home games, a school record. They are now 26-7 overall. Iowa will face Baylor in the regional semifinal on Friday in Oklahoma City.