Nov. 23, 2009
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — In the first three games of her sophomore season, University of Iowa point guard Kamille Wahlin scored 37 points. During an 11-point victory on the road Sunday at Northern Iowa, she poured in 33 while playing all but 23 seconds of the 40-minute contest.
“I didn’t expect it at all. I was able to get into a good rhythm with shooting,” said Wahlin, reflecting on her team’s 81-70 win over the Panthers. “We found the open shot and penetrated well against their defense. It was nice to get the feeling back.”
What’s left of the 3-1 Hawkeye roster returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday, Nov. 24, to face William & Mary (2-1) in nonconference action. So far this season, five Iowa players have missed all or part of the first four games because of injuries — senior JoAnn Hamlin, sophomore Hannah Draxten, freshmen Gabby Machado and Theairra Taylor and most recently, junior Kachine Alexander. In three games, Alexander was averaging 21 points, 15.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists.
“It’s a little different without Kachine out there, but people stepped up with energy,” Wahlin said. “We were going to have to fill a big void without Kash in there, but it was a good win to gain confidence.”
Wahlin made 11 of 19 field goals, 6 of 10 three-pointers and 5 of 6 free throws for the 33-point barrage. She also had two rebounds, two assists and a steal.
“It felt like the ball was going to go in and the more the ball goes in, the more you gain confidence,” Wahlin said. “I didn’t realize I had scored that many points.”
Wahlin totaled 21 points in the second half alone. She missed her final field goal attempt of the first half and was off on 2 of her first 3 attempts in the second. Then Wahlin sank a three-pointer with 14:06 left in the game, which opened a stretch where she made five consecutive field goals (four of them three-pointers) and 2 of 2 free throws. During a span of just over 10 minutes, Wahlin scored 16 points and led the Hawkeyes from a 1-point deficit to a 65-58 lead with 4:16 remaining.
There was more than one hot Hawkeye on Sunday. The team made 51.9 percent of its field goals for the game, including a 15 of 27 effort in the second half (55.6). Three freshmen — Jaime Printy (12), Theairra Taylor (12) and Morgan Johnson (11) — also scored in double figures.
When Iowa hosts the Tribe on Tuesday, Wahlin said it could be another Hawkeye contributing the hot hand.
“Each game is going to be different, you just have to go with what the game gives you,” Wahlin said. “I don’t like to force anything when I’m playing, so maybe there will be another person on fire who will be scoring 20-some, 30-some points. You just have to go with what the game gives you and what the defense gives you.”
Although Wahlin scored in double figures in the first two games this season, her career high before playing Northern Iowa was 19 points against Ohio State on Feb. 2, 2009 (an 85-75 Hawkeye win).
It was the fourth consecutive win by Iowa against an in-state opponent.
“Everyone from Iowa tells us about the rivalries,” Wahlin said. “We represent Iowa, so we want to win all those games.”
The Hawkeye women’s basketball team has won at least three of its first four games for the fourth consecutive season, dating back to 2005.