Feb. 9, 2010
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The quest for a fifth Big Ten Conference women’s basketball victory in the last six outings for the University of Iowa might begin without starting point guard Kamille Wahlin.
Wahlin, who averages 14 points and a team-high 35.3 minutes of playing time per game, suffered a concussion during the second half of a 77-66 win against Michigan State on Feb. 7.
“The biggest question a lot of people have is Kamille and I don’t have a whole lot to report,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said at a gathering of media Tuesday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “It’s not looking very good right now. She is still having symptoms from her concussion and she has to be free of those symptoms for 24 hours before we can test her and she has to pass the test before she can play. The deadline will be (Wednesday) afternoon knowing for sure her status for Thursday. We know she won’t be practicing Tuesday or Wednesday leading up to the game at Indiana. “
Iowa (12-11 overall, 5-7 Big Ten Conference) travels to Bloomington, Ind., to play a Hoosier team with a record of 13-10, 6-6. Indiana is currently tied for fifth in the league; Iowa is tied for eighth.
“Indiana is above us in the standings, so this is an important game because of that,” Bluder said. “This is a team that’s finding a way to win. They’re in a lot of close games and they find a way to win.”
If Wahlin can’t go against the Hoosiers, the starter at point guard will be freshman Trisha Nesbitt. The Ames, Iowa-native has played in all 23 games this season, averaging 15.8 minutes and 2.7 points per outing.
“I’m ready,” Nesbitt said. “I know the team and coaches are all confident in me and that’s really positive. I just have to be ready to step up.”
“I have all the confidence in Trisha,” Wahlin said. “She’s been working hard all year and she’s a quick-learner. She may be a freshman, but they’ve grown up a lot this year.”
Bluder is still holding out hope that Wahlin will be available at Indiana. UI trainer Jennie Sertterh, along with the team physician, will make the final call.
“Indiana is above us in the standings, so this is an important game because of that. This is a team that’s finding a way to win. They’re in a lot of close games and they find a way to win.”
UI head coach Lisa Bluder
The latest injury comes at a time when the Hawkeyes have won four of their last five games and played well on the road at Illinois (75-64 win on Jan. 21) and at No. 8 Ohio State (86-82 loss on Feb. 4).
“That’s a pretty big blow,” Bluder said. “We felt like we were just getting it cranking and having a good rhythm and then to have a blow like that, but I’m also going to stay optimistic and think that she will be free of symptoms by (Wednesday) and can play on Thursday. That’s what we have to hope for right now.”
Wahlin received a favorable report following a CT scan, but she is still having dizziness and headaches.
“I’m feeling better today,” Wahlin said. “They said to get as much rest as I can; try to rest my mind and not do a lot. I need to get sleep, eat well and drink a lot of water.”
The injury occurred when Wahlin took a charge against the Spartans. With Wahlin’s head off the ground, the Michigan State player accidentally stepped on Wahlin’s face, which collided into the court. The Spartan player then fell on top of Wahlin, who on Tuesday had a black-and-blue mark under her left eye.
“I’m somebody who never wants to sit out,” Wahlin said. “It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to stay optimistic and we just have to see how everything goes and see what the trainer says and what the doctor says.”
After the game at Indiana, the Hawkeyes return home of Sunday, Feb. 14, to play Illinois at 2 p.m. It is the final Sunday home game of the season for Iowa.
“Illinois… it’s an opportunity to spend Valentine’s Day with the Hawkeyes,” Bluder said. “It is our last Sunday Big Ten game and there’s no football going or anything, so I think we’re going to have a great crowd. Hopefully we’ll have a good home-court advantage for our last Sunday game.”
The Hawkeyes won the first meeting in Champaign, which started the successful five-game stretch.