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Hawkeyes return following pause, Bluder nears 800th career win

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 6:47 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa women’s basketball team had to cancel three games due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

“It was a feeling of helplessness,” head coach Lisa Bluder said following her team’s pause. “You can’t do anything about it. This was one thing you don’t have any control over.”

That included their home meeting with Drake and Cancun Challenge that was set to take place over the Thanksgiving holiday.

“There were so many good games last week,” said sophomore guard Caitlin Clark. “So many top-10 matchups. It was definitely hard watching, knowing there really was nothing you can do about it.”

The Hawkeyes haven’t played a game since November 17th when they beat Southern University. That marked Bluder’s 799th win. Before their cancellations, she admitted it felt weird that she could potentially check off her 800th career win against Drake given her history with the Bulldogs.

“We love Drake. We cheer for them all the time except for one game and I think the feeling is mutual. I kind of wish it was against somebody else to be honest,” Bluder said in her post game press conference following Iowa’s victory over Southern University.

Bluder spent 10 years of her coaching career at Drake compiling 187 wins from 1990-2000. Before that, she spent six seasons at St. Ambrose University recording 169 victories. Although win number 800 won’t come against her former team, it will come this season.

“It’s gonna happen, right? This year, so when it does happen, it’s just one of those times where you step back and you’re so thankful,” said Bluder.

When it does for the head coach in her 37th year, she’ll become the sixth active Division I women’s coach to reach the milestone and 14th overall.

“You’re thankful for the people you’ve been able to be around. I think of Jan Jensen and Jenni Fitzgerald who have been a part of oh gosh, I don’t know how many of these victories. All the kids you’ve gotten the opportunity to coach. You just don’t really accomplish these without really an administration that supports you too,” Bluder added.

Iowa (4-0) will tip off against Duke (6-0) at 8 P.M

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