CEDAR FALLS, Iowa The Iowa Hawkeyes were never in great danger. Nor were they entirely safe.
Not until the end.
Samantha Logic posted 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Hawkeyes sidestepped Northern Iowa, 67-60, in a flowless, foul-filled women's basketball contest before 3,502 Sunday afternoon at the McLeod Center.
"I'm glad we built the leads we did, because we almost gave them up," said Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder.
The Hawkeyes improved to 5-1 before embarking on a three-day, three-game stretch at the Cancun Classic, beginning Thursday.
Iowa built a 10-point lead early, coughed up most of it, built a 13-point advantage early in the second half, then held on.
"We're going to fight," UNI's Stephanie Davison said after the Panthers slipped to 2-3. "One of these games, we're going to pull it out."
The game suffered from a gross lack of rhythm. Offensive fouls and moving picks were called with regularity, and the only thing more frequent was missed shots. Iowa shot 33 percent from the field; UNI 31 percent.
UNI attempted 36 shots from behind the arc, making seven.
The teams combined for 53 fouls. Iowa was 24 of 38 from the free throw line; UNI 15 of 20.
"Our first three games were called differently from the last three, and that makes it hard to adjust," Bluder said. "We have to rotate a little different, go to our bench a little earlier."
Leading 33-29 at halftime, Iowa scored the first nine points of the second half to go up by 13. But the Panthers hung around.
Three times, they got within four points. Each time, Iowa answered. And in the end, the Hawkeyes made enough free throws to prevail.
"We had some adversity, but we stuck together," Logic said. "That's what you have to do, especially on the road."
Ally Disterhoft, a freshman from Iowa City West, continued to play beyond her years. The Miss Iowa Basketball 2013, Disterhoft recorded 14 points and seven rebounds.
"She's been great," Bluder said. "You recruit players because they're going to be good players. With freshmen, you never know. Are they going to be up and down? Inconsistent? Ally hasn't been."
Disterhoft has scored in double figures four times and is averaging 12.8 points per game.
"I just came in with the mindset that I wanted to contribute however I could, to help the team as much as I could," Disterhoft said.
Bethany Doolittle added 11 points and eight boards.
Amber Sorenson led UNI with 15 points, all from long range. Davison scored 12, freshman Madison Weekly nine.
Weekly is an all-stater from Benton Community and drew easily the largest ovation during pregame introductions.
UNI took its lone lead at 3-2 on Jen Keitel's hook and free throw, then the Hawkeyes scored the next 11 points for a 13-3 lead.
The Panthers whittled at the margin and pulled within 30-29 on a steal and layup by Brittni Donaldson. It was 33-29 at the half.
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