8 is Enough


Nov. 24, 2009

Box Score | Quotes | Photo Gallery

By Richie Zawistowski

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Kamille Wahlin scored 20 points, Theairra Taylor had 16 in her first collegiate start, and University of Iowa fans had reason to be thankful two days short of a holiday recess.

The Hawkeye women’s basketball team defeated William & Mary, 78-54, and improved to 4-1 overall on the season. Decimated by injuries, Iowa dressed just eight players as Hannah Draxton, JoAnn Hamlin, Kachine Alexander, and Shante Jones reamin sidelined with injuries.

“We had a slow start, but we kicked it in gear,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “It was a good win at home. We had a lot of young players step up again, and we shot the ball well.”

Iowa started on the right foot, winning the opening tip as Taylor found Jaime Printy slashing off the right elbow for the game’s opening points 20 seconds in.

“I was really nervous at first,” said Taylor of her first start. “But after that pass to Jaime, it felt like practice again.”

Iowa had problems early with the defense of William & Mary. The half-court press employed by the Tribe forced an Iowa turnover that William & Mary converted into points, and the next time down the floor forced Iowa to call timeout down 10-2 with 16:30 left in the half.

Out of the break, Taylor responded with a driving layup to cut the deficit to 10-4, four minutes into the game.

Wahlin did her part in getting Iowa back into the game. Two days after dropping a career high 33 points on Northern Iowa, Wahlin caught fire midway through the first half scoring seven straight points for the Hawkeyes during a key 9-4 run. The spurt, that was capped by Wahlin leading the break and finding Taylor for a layup, tied the game at 16 with 8:13 left in the half.

“I feel like I’m in a pretty good rhythm,” said Wahlin. “I’m getting my feet set and getting good looks, which is partially because of our penetration as a team.”

With 5:22 left, Printy caught a pass from Wahlin beyond the three-point line, gave a head-fake that drew the defender in the air, and drove the ball to the basket, finishing strong to give Iowa a 22-21 lead — its first since the opening basket of the game.

Both teams traded baskets before Iowa’s Gabby Machado lay-in with 5:22 sparked a 12-4 run to close out the half.

After a Printy foul with 33 seconds remaining in the half, William & Mary made the decision to initiate its offense with 15 seconds left in the half. The Tribe turned the ball over on an errant pass, giving Iowa a final shot. Iowa converted as Wahlin found Printy in the left corner, who drained the buzzer-beater from deep which sent Iowa into the locker room with a 34-27 lead.

Iowa began the second half just as it ended the first — dominating. The Hawkeyes used a 16-4 run to break the game wide-open in the second half and gain a 50-31 lead capped by a Kelly Krei layup. Iowa never looked back, as the Hawkeyes outscored William & Mary 44-28 in the second half, and never lead by less than 16 over the final 20 minutes. Iowa used strong defense and efficient offense as it held William & Mary to 35.4 percent shooting, and dished out 21 assists in the win.

Iowa travels to Reno, Nev., to play in the Nugget Classic on Nov. 27-28. The Hawkeyes face West Virginia on Nov. 27, with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m., and either Columbia or Nevada on Nov. 28.

The Hawkeyes are expected to have Draxton back for the weekend tournament.