Dec. 2, 2009
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By Sean Neugent
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Despite tying the game at 58 with 8 minutes, 23 seconds remaining, the University of Iowa women’s basketball team couldn’t get past Boston College tonight, falling in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, 72-67, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes duked it out and earned their minutes with Boston College with only seven players on their roster able to play. Despite a big rebounding advantage to the Eagles of 45-30, Iowa shot well, especially from deep range. Iowa hit 24 of 60 (40 percent) from the field, 9 of 21 (43 percent) from 3-point range, and 10 of 12 (83 percent) from the free throw line.
“I’m so proud of my players for the type of effort that they continue to give us every single game,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Boston College returned five starters and here we are starting two sophomores and three freshmen. If you look at it on paper, we were totally outmatched. I know my players will never give up, they will fight hard, and I am extremely proud of their effort that they continue to give us and the positive attitude they have.”
Three Iowa players scored in double-figures with Kamille Wahlin leading the way with a game-high 23 points. Morgan Johnson scored 16 and Jaime Printy added 13. Wahlin and Theairra Taylor each had four assists while Kelly Krei pulled down eight boards for the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes (5-3 overall) grabbed two offensive boards on the first possession before Johnson hit a short-range jumper for the first points of the game. Johnson continued to hustle and stole an Eagle pass, rebounded a Printy misfire from long range. Iowa was able to get it inside to Printy, who was fouled on a layup attempt, making both of her free throws for a 4-0 advantage early.
Wahlin drilled a 3-pointer that gave Iowa a 7-2 lead before Boston College responded for a 13-2 run and 15-9 lead.
The Eagles (4-3) silenced the Hawkeyes since the start of the game before Printy hit a deep trey to come within two points. On the next possession, Wahlin drove the lane and hit a layup to knot the score at 18-18 with a little over seven minutes remaining.
“I’m so proud of my players for the type of effort that they continue to give us every single game. Boston College returned five starters and here we are starting two sophomores and three freshmen. If you look at it on paper, we were totally outmatched. I know my players will never give up, they will fight hard, and I am extremely proud of their effort that they continue to give us and the positive attitude they have.”
UI head coach Lisa Bluder
The Eagles took action and scored the next seven points before they fouled Kelsey Cermak, who hit both of her free throw attempts. Boston College pushed it to a 10-point lead, but the Hawkeyes were able to come up with a few timely steals to cut it to 30-25 with a Printy layup and 3-pointer from Wahlin. The Eagles went into the locker room up 35-29.
Boston College came out of halftime and quickly scored six points and take a 41-29 lead. The run continued until Printy hit a 3-pointer and Wahlin followed with a layup on the next possession to cut the deficit to 11 after the Hawkeyes found themselves down 14.
The offense started to heat up when Wahlin drained a 3 and Taylor hit from long range as well to trail, 51-46, with a under 14 minutes remaining. The Hawkeyes were right back in the game and inched even closer with a layup from Johnson. The following possession Johnson went hard to the basket and was fouled hitting both her layup and from the charity stripe to even the game at 51-51.
After finding themselves down 58-51, the pesky Hawkeyes continued to battle and tied it up again, but could not get over the hump to take the lead. The Eagles made a free throw before missing one and getting the rebound and a layup for the three point play than went into full-court press mode. Wahlin mishandled the ball and Boston College’s Stefanie Murphy hit a layup and was fouled before she hit from the charity stripe. Iowa nearly lost the ball again to the full-court press, but were able to push it up the court and hit Printy for the open 3.
“We were 14-points down and within four-minutes we had the game tied up,” Bluder said. “We elevated our defense — we intensified our defense and made a great run at them.”
The Eagles again took the lead 70-63 before Iowa cut it to three with one possession remaining. Johnson kicked the ball out to Wahlin whose three-point attempt hit the front of the rim and bounced off. The Hawkeyes quickly fouled, but the Eagles were not in the bonus. They in-bounded the ball to Mickel Picco who avoided Iowa defenders as time ran down to .04 seconds before they were able to get to her to end the game.
“When it comes to close games as a player you are excited,” Wahlin said. “You are not going to back down from those opportunities to take a last shot. Unfortunately it didn’t go in tonight. At the end of games you just have to remain confident and believe the ball will go in and some nights it does and some nights it doesn’t.”
The Hawkeyes remain at home for their first Big Ten Conference game against the University of Michigan on Sunday with a 5 p.m. tipoff.