Feb. 11, 2010
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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Looking for a definition of a “Big win?” Bluder’s Bunch would like to offer one.
The University of Iowa women’s basketball team bounced back from six-point and seven-point deficits in the final 20 minutes to defeat Indiana 71-67, a win that was the Hawkeyes’ fifth in six outings and pushed its Big Ten Conference record to 6-7 and its overall mark to 13-11.
The big plays were made by sophomore Kelly Krei. Playing with four fouls, she sank three free throws in one visit to the charity stripe to give Iowa a 65-64 lead with 2:51 to play. Less than a minute later, the Iowa City forward followed her miss with an offensive rebound that leads to a layup by junior Kachine Alexander that pushed Iowa’s margin to 67-64.
Jaime Printy then answered an Indiana two-pointer with one of her own with 20 seconds to play. The bucket capped a 20-point second half for the dynamic freshman who led all scorers with 28 points.
“Jamie just took over in the second half,” an obviously delighted Lisa Bluder said.
“I also loved our rebounding. That was the difference in the game. I’m very, very happy with the outcome of this game.”
Alexander had 21 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Krei added eight points, a total that included six free throws, two coming in the final seconds that closed the scoring. And Kelsey Cermak came off the bench to score a career-high 10 points for the UI.
“To win on the road in the Big Ten, without our point guard, is a great accomplishment. We’re thrilled to get this win,” Alexander said. “I was fortunate enough to hit some shots early to get into a rhythm. It’s always fun playing in a scrappy game like tonight. There were a lot of loose balls, which gave us opportunities for second chance points.”
Iowa almost gave this one away. The Hawkeyes were charged with 15 turnovers that Indiana converted into 19 points. However, Bluder’s Bunch played stout defense, and kept charging offensively – and dominated the boards, claiming a 53-29 edge that included 21 – yes, 21 – offensive rebounds.
“Jamie just took over in the second half.”
Lisa Bluder on freshman guard Jaime Printy
“Our rebounding was incredible, particularly on offense. That’s why we won the game. We simply had more opportunities to score,” assistant coach Jen Fitzgerald told the Hawkeye Radio Network post-game.
The rebounding star was, of course, Alexander, who has a nose for the ball.
“I enjoy rebounding, especially when we can get as many as we did tonight. Rebounding can really take your opponent out of a game. That’s what we did tonight,” she said.
Iowa used a remarkable performance by Alexander and a stingy defense to play the home team to an even draw – 32-all – at intermission. Alexander had a double-double in the first 20 minutes: 14 points and 12 rebounds to go along with 2 assists. She missed just one shot from the field in six tries and sank all three of her free throw attempts.
Printy added 8 points including a three-pointer that finished the scoring in the first half. That tie was the seventh in the half. Cermak scored seven points in 10 minutes of action in the first 20 minutes in an outing that earned her high praise.
“Kelsey really played well and we needed her to,” said Bluder.
Defensively, Iowa limited Indiana to just 35 percent success from the field while building a 28-15 edge on the boards during the opening stanz. The Hawkeyes were haunted by turnovers, however, being charged with 9 that the home team converted into 11 points.
Iowa’s next home game is Sunday against Illinois. Tip off inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena is set for shortly after 2 p.m.