California poses some serious challenges for Iowa.
“Very athletic team, very deep team, excellent rebounding team, very good penetration team,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.
Ninth seed Iowa (19-11) has to find a way to slow down an athletic group from California (24-9) that will try and push the Hawkeyes around on Sunday.
“They are probably going to be a little quicker than us, going to be looking to get to the paint all game long,” senior guard Kamille Wahlin said. “We just have to make sure we’re in good weak-side help, that we’re fundamental in blocking out.”
The Golden Bears are crazy-good rebounders. They are third in the country with a plus-13.2 rebounding margin.
They have only been outrebounded once all season.
“They can pursue the ball that well; that they are incredible athletes that can jump out of the gym,” Bluder said. “And so we are going to have to really rely on technique.”
California will challenge the smaller Hawkeyes off the dribble. Iowa under Bluder has a history of struggling to match up with quick, penetrating teams.
Iowa lost to an athletic UNLV team 69-59 early in the season. Cal beat UNLV 70-48.
“I think Ohio State, most of their team is pretty athletic,” Logic said. “Obviously Texas A&M. I think we’ve prepared pretty well for that.”
The Hawkeyes said they are ready for physical play against an athletic team.
“I think Coach Bluder said it very well,” junior center Morgan Johnson said. “The refs are going to let some things go. They don’t want refs to make calls, they want players to make plays.”
Wahlin knows how the officiating can change from the preseason, to the Big Ten season, to tournament time. More and more contact is allowed as the season rolls along.
“You have to be tough with the ball,” Wahlin said. “You can’t let anyone take it when you are going to the that rim. You can’t let a little shove or bump bother you.
“When you do get fouled and they don’t call it, you can’t let it get you out of your game.”
A few times in the Big Ten quarterfinals Logic took the ball to the basket and looked disappointed to not get a whistle. She said it’s not a new thing for her.
“One of my AAU coaches said one time I don’t get a lot of calls because even if they foul me, they bounce off me a little bit more,” Logic said. “You have to stay composed whether they call the foul or not.”
Iowa may use a zone and try and get the Bears to beat them from the 3-point line. The Bears are 275th in the country with 3.5 3-pointers per game.
Lindsay Sherbert leads the team with 36 3-pointers (34 percent) and all-Pac-12 Layshia Clarendon has 33 treys (33 percent).
California also is ranked 327th (out of 336) in free-throw percentage, hitting just 61 percent at the line.
“I think sometimes they can get a little shaken or out of control running their offense,” Bluder said. “Those three things are the things that we need to look at.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball