One needs 19 points to tie a career scoring record for the Iowa women’s basketball program which has stood since 1980.
The other has played 19 minutes this season.
But Ally Disterhoft and Hailey Schneden, one-time high school rivals and now senior teammates, share one objective.
They want to keep the Hawkeye season going for as long as it can, beginning with a 7 p.m. opening-round game in the WNIT today at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“The more games we get as a team, the better. I don’t want it to end,’’ said Disterhoft, who is 20 points away from passing the 2,059 points that Cindy Haugejorde scored for Iowa between 1976-80.
The all-Big Ten forward averages 16.6 points per game for a 17-13 Hawkeye team that hosts Missouri State, which sits at 16-14 and received the WNIT opportunity as an automatic qualifier from the Missouri Valley Conference after both Drake and Northern Iowa were selected for the NCAA tourney field.
Schneden fills a reserve role as she has throughout her career at Iowa, scoring 12 points in limited minutes during her career.
“Coming out of high school, playing basketball in college wasn’t something I thought much about. I was just planning on going to Iowa as a student,’’ said Schneden, a 6-foot-2 forward. “My brother was a manager on the women’s team and they were looking for some players with some size to step in and help in practice when I was a freshman. It sounded good, and it’s been awesome.’’
From NCAA Tournament experiences her first two seasons including a run to the Sweet 16 in 2015 to foreign trips and competing in arenas from coast to coast, it has been everything Schneden hoped for and more.
“Memories that will last a lifetime,’’ Schneden said.
The experience has also allowed her to get to know Disterhoft and develop a friendship as part of a Hawkeye team which has just three seniors on its roster, including guard Alexa Kastanek.
Schneden knew Disterhoft’s game from the high school level, Schneden at Davenport Assumption and Disterhoft at Iowa City West.
The programs met annually in high school in a rivalry that has a bit of an edge to it.
“Ally’s so competitive, always has been, and now, I’m glad she’s on my team,’’ Schneden said. “We’ve got a great friendship. She’s such a good player and she deserves everything she has received because nobody works harder at it than Ally does.’’
One of only two 2,000-point scorers in Hawkeye history, Disterhoft continues to bring to the Hawkeyes what she has throughout her career.
“I want to do whatever I can to help us be the best team we can be,’’ Disterhoft said. “That doesn’t change from one game to the next. I like to compete. I like to win. I like playing basketball in March. That’s what you work for.’’