Not Every Place in Ames Will Be Hostile for Iowa

Dec. 9, 2009

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Not every place in Ames will be a hostile environment for the University of Iowa women’s basketball team when it hits the road for an in-state battle against Iowa State on Thursday.

Although the Hawkeyes (5-4 overall) will be outsiders when they arrive at Hilton Coliseum, they will have refuge for a pregame meal at the home of freshman guard Trisha Nesbitt, an Ames native.

“I haven’t heard what’s on the menu, but I know it will be good,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Trisha grew up an Iowa State fan and I’m sure it’s going to be strange going back in there. At the same time, we feel so blessed that we get the opportunity to coach her.”

Iowa leads the all-time series 21-18 and came away with a comfortable 66-46 win last season in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa State is 5-1 this season with its only setback to Drake, 78-75.

“Iowa State is a good team and you have to prepare well for them,” UI sophomore guard Kamille Wahlin said. “I’m expecting a loud and intense environment, but I enjoy the louder environments.”

Whalin leads the active Hawkeyes with a 17.1 scoring average and 26 three-point field goals.

Bluder said that with such a young team, she did not have time to use any canned audio in practice this week to simulate the loud crowd noise that typically accompanies the Iowa-Iowa State game in Ames.

“We spent the practice time teaching them,” Bluder said. “I would have liked to do it, but we didn’t have enough time. That’s good for more veteran groups.”

Both the Hawkeyes and Iowa State have four native Iowans on their rosters.

“It’s a really important game and it’s fun,” Bluder said. “The fans really get behind it and it’s important for both schools. Everyone gets excited when we play them.”

The contest is part of the Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series, which Iowa currently leads, 7-6.

UI freshman Jaime Printy will be one of three freshmen starting for the Hawkeyes. Printy grew up in Marion and took a recruiting visit to Iowa State.

“My choice was between Iowa and Iowa State,” Printy said. “I visited Iowa State first, but I felt that Iowa was the right fit for me.”

In nine games, Printy is averaging 11.3 points with a team-high 36 assists.

Three of Iowa’s losses have been by five points or less and two were by three points.

“We’re just ready to keep battling,” Printy said. “Knowing that we can play with anyone gives us a boost.”

Tip-off Thursday is scheduled for 7 p.m. Iowa State leads the nation in three-point field goals made per game (11.2) and ranks second in three-point percentage (45.6). Iowa leads the Big Ten and ranks 26th in the nation in three-point field goals per game (7.70).

“Communication will be the key to getting around the screens,” Wahlin said. “We’ll need to talk and held each other out.”