Hawkeyes face quick turnaround, Northern Iowa on Tuesday

Ryan Murken

IOWA CITY, Ia. -- Lisa Bluder needed to check a calendar, or her cell phone, or whatever the Iowa coach uses to keep up with the schedule after the Hawkeyes win over Dayton on Saturday.

Bluder's team rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final 10 minutes to surge past the Flyers in the final of the Hawkeye Challenge in an atmosphere that felt more like March.

"Is this November?" Bluder asked after the game.

Although Saturday's environment felt like March, the quick-two day turnaround entering the Hawkeyes' first intra-state meeting of the season Tuesday against Northern Iowa brings with it the feel of January and February's Big Ten Conference grind.

No. 17 Iowa (4-0) will be playing its third game in a five-day span when it hosts the Panthers at 7 p.m. at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

"That's just the way our November and December are, because of the compression of our schedule," Bluder said. "Every year, we kind of go through this in November and December. We try to cram so many games into a short amount of time."

A quick turnaround didn't hamper the Hawkeyes on Saturday.

Iowa reached the 90-point mark for the third time in four games this season and had five players reach double figures in the come-from behind win over Dayton. That effort came just 24 hours after scoring 97 points in a win over Pepperdine.

Freshman guard Whitney Jennings had a career-best 15 points and hit three 3-pointers in the win over Dayton.

Jennings is one of six Iowa players averaging at least 8.8 points per game on the season.

"I thought she played very well and was really steady and had great composure," Bluder said of Jennings. "She hit big shots and played very good defense for us and never looked rattled. She never had that freshman loss of focus."

Jennings' day was perhaps overshadowed by the play of backcourt mate Samantha Logic.

The senior point guard notched her fifth career triple-double against Dayton finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

"People don't realize how hard it is to get a triple-double," Bluder said. "It's really tough and it just shows the all-around player that she is."

Now, the Hawkeyes turn their focus to a Northern Iowa (1-1) squad coming off an 82-73 loss to Akron.

The Hawkeyes have won seven straight over the Panthers and hold a 17-2 advantage in the all-time series.

Northern Iowa is led by sophomore guard Madison Weekly and junior forward Jen Keitel.

The 5-foot-7 Weekly is averaging 18.5 points through two games, while the 6-foot-3 Keitel averages a double-double of 17.5 points and 11 rebounds.

"The focus has changed to in-state rivalries," Bluder said. "We have the opportunity to play all three of our in-state rivals, and our first step is on Tuesday."

Reach Ryan Murken at 339-7369 or rmurken@press-citizen.com.

Northern Iowa (1-1) at No. 17 Iowa (4-0)

• Specifics — 7 p.m., Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City

• Following the game —Radio: KXIC (800 AM), WMT (AM 600), WHO (1040 AM) Hawkeye Radio Network. Live scoring: hawkeyesports.com.

• Preview — Iowa overcame a 10-point second half deficit to remain unbeaten with a 90-83 win over Dayton in the finals of the Hawkeye Challenge on Saturday. Tuesday's game will be the third in a five-day span for Iowa. The Hawkeyes have won seven straight over Northern Iowa, including a 67-60 win last season in Cedar Falls.