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Bluder’s bunch on verge of Big Ten title

March 1, 2008
MADISON, Wis. — Two of the hottest teams in the Big Ten Conference square off this afternoon when the Iowa women’s basketball team faces host Wisconsin at 12:05 p.m. at the Kohl Center.

Iowa has won 10 of its last 12 games to remain in the running for a share of the conference title. To win the title outright, the Hawkeyes (19-9, 12-5) must defeat Wisconsin (16-11, 9-8) and Ohio State (21-7, 12-5) would have to lose to last-placed Northwestern (5-24, 1-16) in Columbus, Ohio.

Either way, a win is the way to go for the Hawkeyes.

“Wisconsin is going to have a lot on their side,” said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder. “It’s going to be a very boisterous crowd. At the same time, there’s so much at stake for both teams. We have had some success in that building and I think that will help us.

“I do think that we are going to have to overcome their Senior Day emotions.”

Iowa can finish no lower than the third seed for the Big Ten Tournament at Indianapolis.

The Hawkeyes are bidding for their first regular season title in the Big Ten since 1998.

Wisconsin features one of the top scorers in the Big Ten in senior Jolene Anderson. The 5-foot-8 guard puts up 20.1 points per game to go along with 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per outing.

Janese Banks adds 13.5 points per game for the Badgers, who have won five straight.

The balanced Iowa lineup is led by juniors Kristi Smith and Wendy Ausdemore, who average 12.9 and 12 points per game, respectively.


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