Doolittle guides Iowa women to national ranking

IOWA CITY – It was a pretty big week for the Iowa women’s basketball team.

The Hawkeye hoopsters recorded a home win over Wisconsin and then traveled to Ann Arbor, Mich., and beat previously No. 23 ranked Michigan on Sunday.

Those wins helped the Hawkeyes crack the national rankings for the first time this season and also helped sophomore Bethany Doolittle earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors by College Sports Madness. Iowa is ranked No. 24 in the latest poll, which was released Monday.

Doolittle was instrumental in Iowa’s win over the Wolverines on Sunday as she finished with 19 points and four rebounds. She was 9-of-15 from the floor and made five field goals in the span of five and a half minutes that helped the Hawkeyes close out the win.

Doolittle also had 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks against the Badgers this past Thursday.

The Hawkeyes are a perfect 6-0 against nationally ranked opponents this season and are the only team in the country to play at least three ranked teams and hold an unbeaten record against those foes.

The Hawkeyes also are one of five teams in the nation to have at least six wins over ranked opponents. The others are Baylor (8), Stanford (7), Connecticut (7) and Tennessee (6).

It is the first time the Hawkeyes are ranked in the Associated Press poll since Feb. 28 of 2011. Iowa spent a total of 14 weeks ranked in the AP poll during the 2010-11 season, climbing as high as No. 14.

The Hawkeyes will take their national ranking into Champaign, Ill., on Thursday. Tip-off against the Fighting Illini from Assembly Hall is scheduled for 7 p.m.