Iowa women catch fire in second half, rout Bulldogs

IOWA CITY – The Drake women’s basketball team competed point for point with the 22nd ranked Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday night.

But when juniors Samantha Logic and Melissa Dixon and freshman Ally Disterhoft finally got going, there wasn’t much Drake coach and former Hawkeye Jennie Baranczyk and her Bulldogs could do.

Logic scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half and finished with a triple-double, and Disterhoft (17) and Dixon (13) reached double-figures as the Hawkeyes used a big second half to push aside Drake, 73-51.

It was just a four-point Iowa lead at the break.

“I think we were kind of stuck in a finals funk or something,” said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder of her team’s first half. “It was a nice Christmas present. I thought we played a lot better in the second half though. We dominated the paint and had some good shooting performances in the second half.”

It was Iowa’s 12th straight win over its instate rival.

The Hawkeyes, who are now 7-0 at home this year, outscored Drake, 46-16, in the paint and that helped Iowa overcome just a 4-for-26 performance from outside.

Drake made just 6-of-29 from long range and was held to 30 percent shooting from the floor.

Logic’s triple-double line included 12 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists. The Big Ten assists leader recorded the second triple-double of her career and fifth in Iowa history.

Logic also surpassed Michelle Edwards for second on the all-time Iowa career assists list.

She now has 441 career helpers.

“What can I say about Sam Logic that hasn’t already been said,” said Bluder. “For her, a point guard, to come up with 17 rebounds is pretty amazing. She had a great performance today.”

Drake hung tough for the entire first half.

The Bulldogs led by as many as five and forced 10 lead changes in the game, but Iowa never trailed in the second half and led by as many as 24.

A 15-0 run by the Hawkeyes (11-2) pushed Iowa’s lead from 36-32 to 51-32. It was never closer than double-figures the rest of the way.

“I think we hung with a top 25 team on their home floor for moments of the game,” said Baranczyk, who is in her second season as Drake head coach and also a four-time letter winner at Iowa as a collegiate player. “We obviously did not have a great shooting game like we had been, and I think part of that is them and part of that is us. It was a tale of two halves.

“The first half we were there and the second half we were not.”

Disterhoft also scored 10 of her game-high 17 points in a second half that saw the Hawkeyes outscore Drake 45-27.

The freshman from Iowa City also grabbed nine boards.

Dixon had 13 points but was just 2-of-11 from long range. Theairra Taylor’s nine points and Alexa Kastanek’s eight points and five boards also helped the Hawkeyes in the victory.

Bethany Doolittle scored six points and grabbed seven boards but also blocked a career-best seven shots, which was one shy of a school record.

Doolittle also has 117 blocks in her career and passed Baranczyk on Iowa’s all-time list in the process.

Iowa’s bench outscored Drake’s 31-10 and the Hawkeyes turned 21 Bulldog turnovers into 31 points.

“We really stopped attacking on offense,” Baranczyk said. “We tried to pass around the horn a little too much and we needed a little more ‘inside, outside.’ We turned the ball over and that was a huge problem for us. A lot of that was somewhat forced and indecision that we had not had in the last couple of weeks.”

Ashley Bartow led the Bulldogs (5-5) with 16 points and seven boards, while Lizzy Wendell chipped in nine points and 11 rebounds.

Liza Heap pulled down nine boards as well.

Kyndal Clark – Drake’s leading scorer – was held to eight points and hit just 2-of-14 from the floor.

The return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for Baranczyk was bittersweet. But in the end, it still comes down to winning and losing.

“I was ready for our team to compete, honestly,” Baranczyk said. “That was what I wanted, that was what our staff wanted and that was what our program wanted. I think we did that for a lot of the game, but there were a couple minutes where we did not.

“But we will be back again and keep playing. We still have a lot of season left, and that is what I am really looking forward to.”