IOWA CITY -- Lisa Bluder joked that her quest for 600 career victories might not have taken 891 games if she would have scheduled more opponents in the top 25.|
Bluder and the University of Iowa women's basketball team improved to 5-0 against ranked teams this season with a 62-46 win against No. 11 Purdue on Sunday on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win boosted the Hawkeyes to 14-5 overall, 3-2 in the Big Ten Conference; it was win No. 600 for Bluder, who is now 244-149 at the UI.
"Maybe we need to play everybody in the top 25," said Bluder after win 600. "Our defensive intensity set the tone, we rebounded well in the first half, and then kind of hung on in the second half a little bit to win this game."
Bluder compiled 169 of those wins during a six-year stint at St. Ambrose to start her career. She downplayed the significance of the accpmplishment.
Well, I think I told Gary (Barta, Iowa athletic director) it's just one more than 599," Bluder said. " Any time that you reach one of these kind of milestones, yes, it means you've been around a long time, but it also gives you an opportunity to reflect on the women that you've been able to coach, and I have some even from Drake here tonight, and that is really neat.
"I think about all those kids from St. Ambrose and Drake and here at Iowa, and you just remember all those women that were a part of your life, and that just gives you time to do that.
She also gave credit to her longtime assistants Jan Jensen and Jenni Fitzgerald, as well as her husband Dave.
"Again, I've always talked about Jan and Jenniand their significance. They're amazing, that they've stuck around for me all this time, and I'm so appreciative of that. And then the other person is really Dave. He has been there through thick and thin every one of these games, and probably most importantly he's been there for every one of those losses, too, because that's not always easy. That's the kind of things you think about."
Sunday's attendance of 8,576 was the Hawkeyes' largest crowd since drawing 9,865 against Ohio State on Jan. 8, 2011.
Iowa scored the first seven points and led 41-18 at halftime, after building a 23-point lead 18:45 into the game. Purdue was held to 24.2-percent shooting during the first 20 minutes (8-of-33), while the Hawkeyes made 17-of-40 field goals and 6-of-10 3-pointers.
It was the first league loss of the season for the Boilermakers (15-3, 4-1), who played their third game in six days. The only other teams to defeat Purdue this season are Connecticut and Notre Dame.
"Our team kind of embraces the underdog role a little bit," said Bluder, trying to make sense of the Hawkeyes' spotless record against rated foes. "We've done it a lot of times in the past, so it's not like we do anything differently for these opponents. Maybe it's a sharper focus and we know we can do it. That's always part of the battle, too, is if you know we can compete with top 25 teams."
The Hawkeyes made 9-of-15 3-point field goals for the game, three each by Theairra Taylor , Jaime Printy and Melissa Dixon. Printy and Dixon shared game-high scoring honors with 15 points; Taylor scored nine points with 10 rebounds. Printy and Bethany Doolittle pulled down nine rebounds, Morgan Johnson had seven rebounds. Samantha Logic had 10 assists.