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Ryan Murken: Hawkeyes show belief in each other at Big Ten Tournament

[ 0 ] March 7, 2014 |

INDIANAPOLIS — Samantha Logic knows the list.

It’s the collection of attributes that teams capable of making tournament runs in March are supposed to possess.

Logic knows what’s on the list.

Depth?

“We don’t have a lot of depth, but we knew that,” Logic said Friday.

Experience?

“We only really have three or four people that have ever played in a Big Ten tournament,” admitted Logic.

Size?

“We don’t have what a lot of people consider a traditional post,” Logic explained.

Trust me, Logic understands knows the list.

She knows what people look for and she knows what her Iowa team has and doesn’t have.

She just doesn’t care what’s on the list.

“We really don’t pay attention to too much of that you just really have to believe so much in your group of women and your team which we do,” Logic said. “It’s not about that stuff, it’s about the players and coaches in this room, that’s what we’re about. We are just about winning in any way we can right now.”

Logic knows the list.

And if you know Logic you know she means everything she says about not paying attention to it.

Just as they have all season long, Logic and Iowa threw the list away Friday.

Iowa tore up the list, trampled it and then torched it the same way they torched Purdue’s defense down the stretch in an 87-80 come-from-behind win over the Boilermakers in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.

Iowa didn’t win Friday with superior size, depth or athleticism.

Instead, the Hawkeys won the same way they have all season, with teamwork, toughness, smarts and most of all, guts.

“We know we have to work hard. We know that maybe we aren’t as athletically gifted as some teams, but there is no reason that we can’t hustle,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “There is no reason why we can’t be smart, there is no reason we can’t be tough.”

Very little went right for the Hawkeyes in the first half Friday.

The lone player in Iowa’s eight-player rotation over 6-foot-1, junior Bethany Doolittle played only seven first-half minutes while saddled with a pair of early fouls.

Freshman Ally Disterhoft missed her first nine field-goal attempts and was forced from the court after a collision with a chair and scored two points in the first half in 14 minutes.

Melissa Dixon missed the final several minutes with foul problems of her own.

Yet just when it looked like the roof was caving in, the Hawkeyes rallied like they have all year, cutting a nine-point Purdue lead to four in the final 3:10 of the first half.

“They are mentally strong. You get the foul trouble and that can take you out of it. You are behind and that can take you out of it. Missed shots, it all can take you out of it,” Bluder said. “Mentally, I think this group is really mature and really strong, and then you add the chemistry element to it and it’s big. That is why I think that magical things can happen to teams that have those qualities.”

Sophomores Claire Till and Kali Peschel came off the bench and played their best minutes in months, senior Theairra Taylor scored 15 points in the first half to keep her team afloat, and Logic took a charge on a key defensive stop in the final five seconds of the first half.

Iowa fought and clawed and scrapped for its life when things weren’t going well and then with the game on the line, the Hawkeyes looked as confident as a team closing out a 20-point win.

The Hawkeyes scored on nine straight possessions late in the game, hit 12 of 14 free throws down the stretch and won for the fifth straight time.

“I think it all just goes back to how much we believe in each other and how much we believe in this team,” Logic said. “Nothing was really going our way. We weren’t hitting that many shots, loose balls were going to them. But you have to believe and that’s what we did, especially from that 12-minute mark down seven. That’s just huge for a pretty young team.”

Logic knows this Iowa team has some things missing from that list.

She also knows why people value the list. Depth, size and experience are all enviable components for a team.

So too are the intangibles that Iowa seems to have even if they don’t show up on roster or stat sheet.

“I think to us it’s not overachieving because we just set our goals so high, but I could easily see where people would think that,” Logic said.

The next time you hear someone talking about what it takes in to win in March, think about Samantha Logic and her Iowa teammates and remember what Logic said about how the Hawkeyes have filled the holes on that list.

“Belief in each other can go a long way.”

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball

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