Bluder's Bunch Pushes No. 1 Seed Ohio State


March 7, 2010

Box Score | Photo Gallery

INDIANAPOLIS – The Hawkeyes played 10th ranked Ohio State tough for the entire contest, but in the end could not hang on to a 16-point second-half lead in the Big Ten Women’s Championship, falling 66-64.

Ohio State hit two free-throws with just 1.9 seconds remaining, and Kamille Wahlin’s desperation heave from half-court fell short, leaving Iowa just three points shy of a Big Ten title.

Wahlin led Iowa with 20 points, Kelly Krei was right behind with 18 and 8 boards, and Kachine Alexander also chipped in 13 points, seven rebounds, and four steals. However Jeanteal Lavender was too much for Iowa, as the big Ohio State center notched 35 points and 10 rebounds.

“Congratulate Ohio State on their victory today. Great team. Jantel Lavender is the Player of the Year for a reason,and she showed it tonight with her excellent play,” said Bluder, the Big Ten Coach of the Year. “I feel bad for my team. I feel like we played hard. We didn’t get the victory and it hurts right now, but I think we’ll bounce back and be ready for the tournament.”

Iowa shot just 36-percent from the floor and was out-rebounded 35-29, but did force Ohio State into 18 turnovers.

Wahlin started Iowa off with a contested layup, and off the following inbounds, Alexander stole the ball and hit a tough jumper off the glass for a 4-2 lead early. Later, Alexander ran the break in transition and pulled up for 15-foot jumper giving Iowa a 9-6 lead three minutes into the game.

Krei started scorching the net and in the process kicked off an 11-0 Iowa run, scoring seven of Iowa’s 11 points. She started the spurt with a three-pointer, then after Jaime Printy blocked an Ohio State shot, slashed through the lane and Printy found her for the layup and a 16-9 lead with 15:11 remaining.

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Ohio State Buckeyes 1st 2nd Final
Iowa Hawkeyes (19-13) 41 23 64
Ohio State Buckeyes (30-4) 33 33 66
Statistical Leaders
Points: Kamille Wahlin (Iowa) 20 | Jantel Lavender (Ohio State) 35
Rebounds: Kelly Krei (Iowa) 8 | Jantel Lavender(Ohio State) 10
Assists: Kachine Alexander (Iowa) 3. | Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State) 7

Printy would continue her defensive effort with a steal on the next possession, only this time keep it herself and drive the ball strong to the basket drawing a foul in the process. Printy would convert both from the charity stripe for a 18-9 lead with 15 minutes remaining.

Printy then hit a deep trey from NBA range giving Iowa a nine point lead 25-16 with 11:52 left in the half.

An Ohio State 14-4 run cut the lead to one, 29-28, but Wahlin answered with a deep three giving Iowa a four-point lead 32-28.

Then a hard drive baseline by Alexander with a hanging layup drew a foul, which she converted for the three point play and a 35-28 Iowa lead with 4:01 left in the half. Wahlin showed great anticipation and jumped in front of a passing lane and getting the breakaway layup giving Iowa a 41-30 lead with 2:12 left in the half.

Iowa missed their last shot before the horn sounded, and the Hawkeyes went into the break leading 41-33.

A steal by Alexander started the second half and Wahlin and Krei netted consecutive deep-balls, and as a result gave Iowa a 47-33 lead.

Wahlin displayed more great defense, with a great heads up play coming weakside and poking the ball free from the lost post.

However, an Ohio State run saw the Buckyes cut the lead to single digits and get right back into the game.

Iowa went over nine minutes without a field goal before Wahlin and Krei hit huge back-to-back three’s for a six-point swing to give Iowa a 57-49 lead with just under nine minutes left.

Wahlin later hit a tough shot in heavy traffic to give Iowa a 59-54 lead with just seven minutes remaining.

However, Ohio State took a two-point lead, 62-60 after a pair of free throws, but Wahlin answered with two from the line of her own to tie the game at 62. A beautiful back-screen set by Johnson freed up Printy cutting to the basket, and Alexander found her for the deuce, putting Iowa back ahead by two 64-62 with 2:32 remaining.

An Ohio State basket underneath tied the game at 64, and after an Iowa timeout with just 47 seconds remaining, the Hawkeyes failed to even get off a shot, as Johnson’s bounce pass to a cutting Wahlin was not handled cleanly and the ball went out of bounds turning the ball over to Ohio State.

A foul by Iowa underneath with just 1.9 seconds remaining gave Ohio State a pair of free throws, that were converted.

Wahlin’s desperation shot from half-court fell short and in the process Iowa fell just two points short of a the championship and the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament that comes with it. “I thought I had a pretty good look. I thought Kelly threw the ball in perfect position. I turned around, I was probably pretty far out on that. Didn’t work to my advantage,” said the Hawkeyes’ floor leader.

“But I just tried to get a good look and let it go in. Unfortunately it didn’t go in.”

While the season ended just three points short of a championship, three Hawkeyes were named to the Big Ten Tournament team. Alexander, Wahlin, and Krei were each honored for their performance over the past three days.