IOWA CITY, Ia. — There was a basketball game Sunday afternoon at Carver Hawkeye Arena. Well … something that kind of looked like a basketball game.
Iowa trampled in-state rival Northern Iowa, 88-39, as the first snow of winter fell outside. The Hawkeyes used a 15-3 first-quarter run to seize control of the game and they never let go.
"I thought that was our best performance of the year," Iowa's Lisa Bluder said.
Quarter by quarter, Iowa outscored UNI 25-10, 15-7, 28-10 and 20-12. All 12 Hawkeyes scored — eight had by halftime. Iowa held UNI to 21 percent shooting (13-for-62), outrebounded UNI 47-27 and blocked nine Panther shots. Meanwhile, it shot 61 percent (34-for-56).
Did Bluder see a domination like this coming?
"No, I didn't," she said. "You always want your team to play well, but the margin of victory surprises me a little bit."
Panthers head coach Tanya Warren was surprised, too.
"I'm as blind-sighted as can be," Warren said with a bewildered Madison Weekly sitting next to her. "But we'll get it fixed."
Coming into the game, Weekly led UNI with nearly 16 points per game this season, but she scored 12 on 5 of 16 shooting. Ally Disterhoft reached double-digit points in the second quarter and finished with 17 to lead the Hawkeyes. Megan Gustafson logged another double-double with 12 points and 17 boards.
Iowa shot 4-for-19 from 3-point land in a 73-58 loss to Notre Dame on Wednesday. It shot 11-for-16 from long range against UNI.
The Hawkeyes now lead their all-time series with UNI, 20-2. The Panthers haven’t won since the 2006-07 season, when Disterhoft was in sixth grade and Iowa’s freshman class was just starting second grade. The 49-point win is the biggest in the rivalry series, and UNI's 39 points are the fewest Iowa has ever allowed in the series.
"Those are good things — I'm glad to hear that," Bluder chuckled. "But we are working hard on our defense. Our 3-point defense has been good all year, though. So hopefully we'll be able to maintain that against Iowa State, which we know we're going to have to do."
Iowa hosts Iowa State this Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Bain covers Hawkeyes basketball for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, Des Moines Register and HawkCentral. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @MatthewBain_.