Hawkeyes Set Up Sunday Showdown


Feb. 25, 2010

Box Score | Quotes | Photo Gallery 1 | Photo Gallery 2

By Richie Zawistowski

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa defeated Indiana, 76-64, on Thursday in its final regular-season game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Senior Night.

There was only one dilemma — no seniors played in the game for the victorious Hawkeyes.

JoAnn Hamlin, the lone senior on the UI squad, has been sidelined all season with a blood clot in her right leg. Hamlin had been a key contributor from the day she came to Iowa, and addressed the crowd after the win.

“Jo’s been a big mentor for me this year, and it feels really good to get the win for her,” said freshman Morgan Johnson. “She’s just been that big of a supporter for me.”

Iowa improved to 16-12 overall, 9-8 in the Big Ten Conference; Indiana is 13-15, 6-11.

Iowa had plenty of talent to pick up for the lack of senior experience as Jaime Printy broke the UI freshman scoring-record with 428 points on the season. Johnson tied a career-high and led the game with 18 points and Kelly Krei notched her first career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.

“With Jaime getting the freshman scoring record, that record has stood for a long time,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “For her to take over that record that had been held since I think 1983, that is really a major accomplishment. I’m very, very happy for her.”

“I honestly didn’t have any idea I was close,” said Printy referring to her record. “I mean it’s a great honor to have, but I just want to keep winning these games.”

Kachine Alexander had a game-high with 15 rebounds in her quest for the Big Ten lead, while also chipping in eight assists.

“I like to get my teammates involved,” said Alexander. “I’ve always liked to do that, and to see the success they have from any of my passes makes me really happy. Rebounds, that’s’ my goal and it’s been my goal. 15 rebounds, that’s where I want to be.”

Iowa held Indiana to a mere 30-percent shooting on the night (20-of-66) and also out-rebounded the Hoosiers, 46-37.

Krei started Iowa off right, hitting a corner-three to put the Hawkeyes up 3-0 out of the gates.

University of Iowa sophomore Kelly Krei scored 14 points with 13 rebounds during the Hawkeye victory.

Later in the first half, Printy started and ended a massive 18-2 first-half run for Iowa with shots from beyond the arc, with the latter coming at 5:59 remaining in the half that capped the spurt.

An open baseline jumper from Johnson gave Iowa a 10-point cushion, 27-17, thanks to the assist from Kelsey Cermak.

Yet another Printy 3 pushed the first-half Iowa lead to 13, 30-17, with 3:56 remaining in the half, but Indiana would use a 7-2 run to close out the first half, sending Iowa into the locker room up, 32-26.

In the second-half, Alexander displayed her usual toughness and hustle as she grabbed her standard loose-ball rebound, drove hard to the basket, and kicked out to a wide-open Wahlin who buried the trey for the 37-29 Iowa advantage.

With 15:27 remaining, Printy drove hard down the middle of the paint drawing the defense before feeding to Johnson wide open under the basket putting Iowa ahead 45-29.

“We tend to make things exciting,” said Bluder. “I thought we had things in hand when we were up 16, and we kind of let them back in the game. But at least

JoAnn Hamlin addresses the Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd Thursday following Iowa’s 12-point victory against the Hoosiers.

we’re handling those situations well, keeping our composure and making our free-throws down the stretch.”

Later, great hustle and ball movement gave Iowa a second chance opportunity that Iowa took advantage of.

An offensive board and good floor spacing combined with the threat of a Printy three-pointer opened up the lane for Printy and she was fouled on the layup and converted both free throws for a 50-38 lead.

Free throws temporarily got Indiana back in the game with several fouls being called on Iowa. Six consecutive free throws by Indiana cut the Iowa lead to five, 52-47 with 8:38 remaining.

A fast-break layup by Indiana made it just a three-point game, before Krei hit a 3-pointer to stretch the lead back to six. However Indiana hit a three the next time down the floor cutting it to a three-point lead again 55-52 with 7:40 remaining.

Wahlin answered later on with a huge 3-pointer, making it 64-56, and the next time down Morgan Johnson hit a shot underneath, putting the Iowa lead back into double-digits, 66-56, with 2:51 remaining.

Iowa took care of the basketball, and made its free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

The Hawkeyes will close the regular-season as they travel to Madison, Wis., this Sunday to take on Wisconsin with tip-off scheduled for 1p.m.

“There’s a lot at stake going up to Wisconsin,” said Bluder. “If we win up there, we finish third in the conference. If you said that six weeks ago, people would have laughed at you so we’re pretty happy with the way things are going now.”

“Wisconsin is going to be a battle,” said Alexander. “I think everyone is so ready — and it’s my birthday, so I’m really excited for that too. I don’t need any presents, just get me a win. This is what we play for, this type of opportunity. It’s in our hands, we can take it or we cannot, and I think we will.”