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Iowa women's basketball: Hawkeyes re-schedule postponed Maryland game

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — A bit of schedule shuffling has allowed Iowa to re-schedule its game at No. 10 Maryland, which the Hawkeyes postponed out of caution regarding the presidential inauguration. 

The Hawkeyes will now play in College Park, Maryland at noon Tuesday, in a game that will air on Big Ten Network. Subsequently, Sunday's game at No. 12 Indiana has been moved to March 3 with a pending tip time. 

Originally scheduled to face Maryland on Jan. 21, the Hawkeyes were set to fly into Baltimore the afternoon prior — on inauguration day. At the time, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said the tipping point on postponement came on Jan. 19, when the hotel set to host the Hawkeyes said Iowa must move locations in order to accommodate National Guard members needing the space. The need for heightened security loomed over Inauguration Day following the U.S. Capitol rioting on Jan. 6.  

"Am I being cautious? Yeah. I'm paid to play games. I understand that," Bluder said on Jan. 20. "But I made this decision after much deliberation and really with the health and safety of my student-athletes and staff in mind. 

"As a mom, I asked myself, 'Would I take my family into (that area) right now? The answer is no. As a coach of these young women, my answer is the same. .. People may make light of my decision not to go, but I'd rather be cautious and safe than careless and regretful." 

Iowa's McKenna Warnock (14) gets some support from Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder, right, and athletic trainer Jennie Sertterh during a NCAA Big Ten Conference women's basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

With the adjustment, Iowa will now play Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday of next week. The Hawkeyes will host No. 11 Michigan in the middle of that stretch, barely 48 hours after battling a top-10 opponent on the road. Iowa concludes the hectic week at Wisconsin. 

"We're going to get home from Maryland late on Tuesday — thankful the game is at 1 o'clock (Eastern) — but we're still going to get home pretty late because it's a long trip," Bluder said Thursday after beating Penn State. "Then we're going to turn around and have only one day to prepare for Michigan, a top-25 team in the country. That is rough.

"Then we have two days to go on the road to Wisconsin to play. Then we have two days to prepare to play Indiana on its home court. This is going to be a rough two-week stretch for us. It's going to be a grind, and I've got to be careful with their legs. They're going to have to be completely mentally focused."       

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.