The Iowa women’s basketball team has defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 11 straight times and have recorded six straight wins at home.
All streaks end at some point, but the Hawkeyes are hoping it won’t be tonight when the Badgers invade Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a 7p.m. Big Ten Conference tilt against Iowa, which is coming off a blowout win over No. 12 Purdue.
The Hawkeyes lead the all-time series 41-20 and have been dominant against the Badgers the past several years. Iowa (13-5) also is 12-2 in Big Ten home games dating back to Feb. 10 of 2011.
“Because certainly, coming off of a really good win like that, you're playing at home, you're comfortable; we have to be wary of that,” Bluder said in regards to a question about a possible letdown. “We have to be aware of that game that they just had against Ohio State and I think that's the best thing that could almost happen for us is that what brings our attention to it, I believe.”
While Iowa will have momentum following a victory over Purdue, the Badgers also ended their six-game losing streak on Jan. 20 after upsetting Ohio State in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin converted 18 Buckeye turnovers into 22 points at the other end and won easily.
“They are coming in off their first Big Ten win,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We had a competitive game against them at their place. So we understand, I think that will help get our players focused when they see that they are just coming off that good win over Ohio State.”
Iowa native Morgan Paige, who attended the same high school (Linn-Mar) as Iowa senior Jaime Printy, had 28 points against Ohio State and leads the Badgers at 16.5 points per game, while Jacki Gulczynski scores 11.2 points per game. Cassie Rochel leads the Badgers in rebounding at eight per game.
“Obviously Morgan Paige, is somebody, their leading scorer, that we have to concern ourselves with,” Bluder said. “The Marion native I'm sure will have a good contingency cheering her on. She's somebody that we have to keep control of in this game.”
The Hawkeyes won the first meeting 65-56 at the Kohl Center earlier this season despite trailing by a small margin at halftime. Morgan Johnson was tough to contain as she torched the Badgers for 23 points and 11 boards, while point guard Sam Logic added 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Printy also had 10 points in the win.
Johnson comes into the game averaging nearly 18 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, while Printy scores better than 13 points per game while pulling down 4.2 rebounds and dishing out 3.3 assists per contest.
With the Badgers down to just nine players on their roster, expect Iowa to try to wear down Wisconsin by pushing the ball up the floor as much as possible.
“We are pretty effective with the fast break the first time we played them and I think that's something we want to continue to look for against them,” Bluder said. “They are shorthanded but truly, not a lot of people are playing more people than that, anyway. When we were down nine or eight on our roster, really, that's what a lot of teams are really counting on anyway.”
The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and can be heard across the state of Iowa on all Hawkeye Radio Network affiliates, which in Central Iowa is 1040 WHO.