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Iowa History Daily: April 3 - Hawks Fly to Final Four

Iowa History Daily: On April 3, 1993, C. Vivian Stringer’s Iowa Hawkeyes fell in the Final Four. The finale to an unforgettable season, the Hawkeyes rallied through adversity to come up big time and again to triumph in the face of tragedy.

Hired in 1983 following a 7-20 season, Stringer set about quickly improving the program. 17-10 in her first season at the helm of the Hawks, the team continued to improve as Iowans took notice and packed 22,157 fans into Carver-Hawkeye for a memorable game against Ohio State during year two. 

NCAA tournament bound for the first time under Stringer in year three, the Hawkeyes started 22-0 in the coach’s fifth season in Iowa City before reaching the Elite Eight in 1987 and 1988. The Hawkeyes proved a consistent contender and prepared for the 1992-1993 season with high hopes. However, Stringer’s husband Bill suffered a heart attack and passed away, leading her to take a leave of absence which carried through the start of the season.

Led by Toni Foster, Tia Jackson, Laurie Aaron, Necole Tunsil, the Hawks stood at 5-0 by the time Stringer returned to the sidelines. The team continued to rally together through a tough season which also saw the loss of Iowa men’s basketball player Chris Street during January 1993. Through adversity Iowa dominated to reel off 17 straight wins while marching to a 24-3 regular season record, aided by Foster, Jackson, Aaron, and Tunsil all averaging double-digit scoring averages.

A 2-seed, the Hawkeyes ended up playing on the road due to a Guns n’ Roses concert scheduled for Carver-Hawkeye arena. However, the Hawks blasted host Old Dominion before returning home to beat Auburn and advance to the Elite Eight. Facing Pat Summitt’s legendary Tennessee Volunteers, Iowa rose to the challenge to blast the Lady Vols 72-56 and advance to the Final Four. Although Iowa fell to Ohio State in overtime 73-72, the team came together to give Iowans a season to remember. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


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