Hawkeyes boost Bluder to 700 wins

IOWA CITY — What started a sa slugfest ended in a one-sided knockout, as the University of Iowa women’s basketball team won its season opener on Friday over Quinnipiac University, 83-67, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Hawkeyes head coach Lisa Bluder, who earned her 700th victory with the win over the Bobcats, said that couldn’t have been a better way to start the season.

“It was an exciting way to begin the year,” Bluder said. “That fourth quarter was pretty good. Our defense finally dug in and played some really good defense.”

The Hawkeyes won the fourth quarter 28-13 to run away from a Quinnipiac team that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 last season. It was a big statement for the Hawkeyes, and not just because of the milestone achievement for Bluder, but because it came against a strong opponent.

“We’ve never shied away from playing against good people,” Bluder said. “We think that’s what makes you better. It exposes your weaknesses early. You have to keep your confidence through that. Last year we had the best non-conference schedule in the entire Big Ten so it’s something we do, and this tournament is obviously a tremendous tournament.”

Iowa led by two after the first quarter, were tied at the half and trailed by one to start the third. A 3-pointer by Tania Davis to start the fourth helped the Hawkeyes regain the lead and sparked a 12-3 run that extended their advantage to 69-62.

Davis finished with 14 points in 28 minutes for Iowa, while Alexis Sevillian led the Hawkeyes with 17 points against the Bobcats. Megan Gustafson recorded her 28th career double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds.

On earning her 700th win of her career, Bluder said she doesn’t want to put too much emphasis on just on win, but when it comes to such an important plateau it’s hard not to enjoy it.

“Every game is just one game, I understand that, but anytime you have a milestone win it gives you time to reflect and you see all those people,” Bluder said. “I told the women in the locker room afterward that I’ve been able to coach a lot of great women, but this group is really special and I’m glad I got to share it with them.”

Bluder’s Hawkeyes try to earn her 701st win today when they host Western Kentucky, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Iowa State 81, South Dakota 76

AMES — The Iowa State women’s basketball team defeated South Dakota in its season opener at Hilton Coliseum on Friday afternoon. The Cyclones rallied form an eight-point second-half deficit behind a 19-point outburst in the fourth quarter by junior Bridget Carleton.

Carleton finished the game with 24 points to pace Iowa State, while three other Cyclones also reached double digits. Emily Durr finished the game with 14 points while Madison Wise and Rae Johnson chipped in 10 apiece. Freshman Kristin Scott led Iowa State on the boards with nine rebounds, while the Cyclones knocked down 11 3-pointers as a team.

Iowa State will hit the road for the first time this season to take on in-state foe UNI on Tuesday. Tip between the Cyclones and Panthers will be at 7 p.m. in Cedar Falls.

Drake 77, Milwaukee 73

DES MOINES — In its season opener, the Drake University women’s basketball team held off Milwaukee for its first victory of the season, 77-73, in the opening round of the preseason WNIT.

After sitting out most of last season, redshirt sophomore Sara Rhine led the Bulldogs in her first game back with 19 points on a 9-for-11 shooting performance. Rhine also added a team-high eight rebounds.

Junior Sammie Bachrodt and sophomore Becca Hittner both recorded double-digit point efforts with 13 and 12 points, respectively. In her first career start, sophomore Brenni Rose dished out a game-high five assists while Hittner, Bachrodt and freshman Maddie Monahan added four each.

On a night where her college head coach, University of Iowa’s Lisa Bluder, earned her 700th career win, Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk recorded her 100th career victory.

The Bulldogs return to action on Sunday when they hit the road for the first time this season to take on No. 11 Oregon in Eugene, Ore.

IUPUI 54, UNI 48

CEDAR FALLS — Despite trimming the deficit to only one point late in the Friday’s season opener, Northern Iowa couldn’t overcome IUPUI at home, as the Jaguars downed the Panthers 54-48.

IUPUI had four player in double-figures, with Macee Williams leading the Jaguars with 16 points. Kennedy Kirkpatrick was the leading scorer for UNI with 15 points, while Megan Maahs had 10 points and 16 rebounds for a double-double to start the year.

A Kirkpatrick 3-pointer cut the Jaguar lead to one with 5:48 left in the fourth quarter, but IUPUI responded with a 9-4 run to close out the game.

The Panthers will look for their first win of the season when they host Iowa State on Tuesday at the McLeod Center, starting at 7 p.m.