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Iowa Basketball: Dixon's big second half pushes Hawk women past No. 22 Syracuse

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It was just a matter of time before Melissa Dixon found her shot from long range.

And for the Iowa women's basketball team, it couldn't have come at a better time.

For the second time in her last two games, Dixon buried a school-record seven 3-pointers in a game to help the 25th ranked Hawkeyes claim a big win.

This time, Dixon did all of her damage in the second half as her 27 points helped Iowa rally from a 10-point halftime deficit to beat No. 22 Syracuse, 97-91, on Thursday during a Big Ten/ACC Women's Challenge game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"This was a big win for us," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "Especially having to battle back from behind and play with a little adversity when Sam (Logic) was out. Everybody contributed to this win. It was one of those wins that you just feel good about because everybody was an important part."

Dixon was 7-of-10 from long range in the game and 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Bethany Doolittle also had a career-high 25 points -- 17 in the first half -- and six rebounds in the win as Iowa improved to 9-5 against top 25 opponents since the start of last year.

"This team just keeps believing, it doesn't matter," Bluder said. "You know, that's going to happen.You're going to have ebbs and flows to every basketball game. It's living through those and not getting down and not panicking and doing things when you're down that you're not able to do because that's when that keeps spinning out of control then."

Samantha Logic added 14 points and seven assists and also needed eight stitches above her eye.

Logic lost part of a tooth during an overtime win against No. 14 Dayton on Nov. 10; she was bloodied and bandaged during another win over a nationally ranked foe on Thursday.

"I wasn't in the right place at the right time a couple times now," said Logic. "I don't know if I have to get better at that? We beat two ranked teams, though."

Kali Peschel finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Theairra Taylor chipped in nine points, seven rebounds and eight assists.

The Hawkeyes dished out 28 assists on their 33 field goals in the win. Iowa is now 9-1 on the young season.

"You always dream about these things, but I love where we're sitting right now," Bluder said. "Yeah, I mean, another thing, the passing, to take 13 turnovers only against this team that presses the entire time and forces so many turnovers and scores so many points off their turnovers, yeah, I was really happy with how we handled their press."

Syracuse led by 10 at halftime and still led by 12 with 11:35 to go in the game. That's when Dixon decided to shoot the Hawkeyes back into it.

The Hawkeyes used a 13-0 run to take a one-point lead with 7:28 play and Dixon hit two treys and scored eight points during the spurt.

"We did a good job in the second half of handling their zone," Dixon said. "Putting Beth in the middle opened everything up and I was open a lot more on the wing. We moved the ball around well. No one cares who scores, we just want to win so bad. We worry more about the assists than who scores."

The game went back and forth for the next few minutes until Iowa pulled in front by five thanks to a 3-point play by Ally Disterhoft.

Syracuse never got closer than three the rest of the way and Iowa pulled off another upset of a top 25 ranked team.

Brittney Sykes had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Orange, which lost their first game of the season. Rachel Coffey added 14 points, while Brianna Butler had 12 and Briana Day added 10 off the bench.

Iowa remains at home to face Idaho State on Saturday at 2 p.m. start in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Bengals (2-5) lost to Drake, 78-59, on Thursday in Des Moines.

Box Score

Iowa 97, Syracuse 91

At Iowa City
SYRACUSE (8-1) - Coffey 5-13 1-2 14, Slim 2-4 2-3 8, B. Butler 4-16 0-1 12, Sykes 10-13 5-9 25, Leary 4-8 0-0 8, Peterson 1-2 0-0 2, Taft 3-6 0-0 7, Ford 0-3 0-0 0, Bullard 2-2 1-2 5, Brian. Day 4-6 2-2 10. Totals 35-73 11-19 91.

IOWA (9-1) - Dixon 7-11 6-6 27, Logic 6-11 2-2 14, Taylor 2-8 3-6 9, Peschel 3-8 4-6 10, Doolittle 12-16 1-2 25, Kastanek 2-6 0-0 6, Disterhoft 1-4 3-3 5, Till 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 33-66 20-27 97.
Halftime-Syracuse 47-37. 3-Point Goals-Syracuse 10-30 (B. Butler 4-12, Coffey 3-9, Slim 2-4, Taft 1-3, Ford 0-1, Peterson 0-1), Iowa 11-25 (Dixon 7-10, Kastanek 2-4, Taylor 2-5, Till 0-1, Peschel 0-1, Disterhoft 0-1, Logic 0-3). Fouled Out-Coffey, Leary. Rebounds-Syracuse 43 (Sykes 10), Iowa 38 (Peschel 8). Assists-Syracuse 21 (Coffey 7), Iowa 28 (Taylor 8). Total Fouls-Syracuse 23, Iowa 19. A-3,323.

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