The Iowa women’s basketball team will have another chance to strengthen its NCAA Tournament resume’ this weekend.
The Hawkeyes have already earned quality wins against West Virginia and Iowa State this season and will take on No. 21 Texas in the first round of the Surf ‘N Slam Classic hosted by San Diego.
Tip off for the opener is set for 10 p.m. Central time. The other first-round matchup pits host San Diego (7-3) against Central Michigan (5-5). The winners and losers will face each other Sunday.
The Hawkeyes come into Friday’s matchup with the Longhorns having won four straight games – three of which came against the three other D-1 programs within the state’s borders.
Texas won its first five games of the season but has since split the last four contests. The losses were by 20 points to both No. 17 UCLA and No. 13 Tennessee.
Senior post Morgan Johnson leads the Hawkeyes at 17 points and seven boards per game and is shooting a blistering 57 percent from the floor. Senior guard Jaime Printy also averages in double-figures at 12.2 points and also tallies four rebounds and four assists per contest.
Sophomore Sam Logic is averaging 8.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and six assists per game. Printy also is one of the nation’s best free throw shooters, while Johnson’s two blocked shots per game is among the nation’s best as well.
The Longhorns come into the game 7-2. They are a plus-16 when it comes to rebounding and scoring margin and are led by junior guard Chassidy Fussell’s 18 points per game in seven games played.
Sophomore forward Nneka Enemkpali has played in all nine games this year and is averaging a double-double at 16 points and 12 rebounds per contest. Senior post Cokie Reed is scoring nearly 11 points per game, while freshman center Imani McGee-Stafford also is in double-figures at 10.1 per game.
Fussell scored 31 points in the loss against Tennessee earlier this season.
The difference in the game for the Hawkeyes could come from their bench. The Iowa subs are averaging 17 points per game, which is among the nation’s best. The Achilles heel for the Hawkeyes though could come on the boards, where Iowa is only out-rebounding its opponents by a little more than two per game.
Texas’ plus-16 rebounding margin ranks fifth in the nation. The Longhorns also rank fifth in the nation in blocks per game at 6.6.
Texas leads the all-time series, 2-1, against Iowa, which also is receiving votes in both national polls this week.
Central Michigan comes into the weekend having won three of four games. The Chippewas are led by Crystal Bradford’s 13 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Jessica Schroll, who transferred from Iowa State after 10 games last season, is averaging 15 points in her two games this season.
San Diego enters the game with a 5-1 mark at home. The Toreros are led by Amy Kame’s 15 points per game, while Maya Hood is scoring 10 points per contest.