Iowa women seek first Sweet 16 trip since 1996
Samantha Logic is a serious person, so when the Iowa senior says she wasn't looking ahead to Sunday's second-round game in the NCAA Tournament, it's not hard to believe her.
Logic was so serious about not looking past American in the first round she only watched one half of Friday's opener that saw No. 11 seed Miami upset sixth-seeded Washington.
"We only watched the first half," Logic explained. "We don't look ahead."
That plan worked as third-seeded Iowa (25-7) used a strong second half to dispatch American 75-67 on Friday.
The opening-round win over American sends Iowa to the NCAA second round for the third straight season and allows Logic and company to get serious about facing Miami (20-12) at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
It also moves Iowa one win away from its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1996.
"Now you can get a little more excited about the second game since the first one is over," Logic said. "Miami is a good team, they upset the six seed so they are going to come in here confident just like we are confident playing on our home floor so we are going to have to play a really good game."
Miami limped into the NCAA Tournament losing five of six games.
The Hurricanes looked every bit like an NCAA Tournament team on Friday, building an 11-point lead and then rallying for an 86-80 win over sixth-seeded Washington.
Sophomore Adrienne Motley had 30 points on Friday leading Miami to the NCAA second round for the first time since 2012.
"They are very athletic, they play hard, they are quick and we are going to have to do a good job fundamentally against them," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said of Miami. "They can get you playing at a speed that you don't want to play at and get you kind of razzed and mentally take you out of it."
The Hurricanes and Hawkeyes aren't complete strangers.
Iowa downed Miami 69-53 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
The win in 2013 started Iowa's current string of three straight opening round tournament wins.
Iowa will be seeking much more in Sunday's meeting.
The Hawkeyes haven't advanced past the round-of-32 under Bluder, going 0-5 in second-round games.
"We see this as a great opportunity," sophomore Ally Disterhoft said. "We have some good things going on right now, we are playing with great chemistry, we are playing great as a team and I think it's a big opportunity for us."
In order to break that string of second round exits Iowa will need to get past a Miami team that has shown the ability to play with the nation's best.
Miami defeated No. 1 seed Notre Dame and No. 2 seed Florida State during the regular season and has 10 losses to NCAA Tournament teams.
The Hurricanes were one of eight teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference in the tournament field.
"I know that they have beat a No. 1 seed, Notre Dame , they beat a No. 2 seed, Florida State and obviously they are a great team from a really good conference," Bluder said. "We know we are going to have our work cut out for us on Sunday."
Reach Ryan Murken at 319-339-7369 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @rmmurken.
Iowa (25-7) vs. Miami (20-12)
• When: Sunday, 11 a.m.
• Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena
• Stat Leaders: Iowa — Samantha Logic, 5-9, Sr., 13.5 ppg, 8 apg; Ally Disterhoft, 6-0, Soph., 15.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg; Bethany Doolittle, 6-4, Sr., 13.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg. Miami — Adrienne Motley, 5-9, Soph., 16.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg; Jessica Thomas, 5-6, Soph., 8.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg; Michelle Woods, 5-8, Jr., 8.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg.
• About the Hurricanes: Miami had lost five of its last six games entering the NCAA Tournament opener but knocked off sixth-seeded Washington 86-80 in the opening round. Of the Hurricanes 12 losses this season, 10 have come to NCAA Tournament teams and Miami is only one of two teams to knock off second-ranked Notre Dame this season.
• About the Hawkeyes: Iowa is seeking its first trip to the Sweet 16 since 1996 and likely needs another strong shooting performance to get it. The Hawkeyes were 9-of-16 from 3-point range in Friday's win over American and shot 49 percent from the field for the game.
• What to watch: Iowa was outrebounded by six in its opening round win over American and will have its hands full keep an athletic Miami front court off the glass. The Hurricanes are nearly even on the season in rebounding margin but held a 46-40 advantage over Washington on Friday led by a career-high 13 rebounds by Erykah Davenport.