March 7, 2010
Editor’s Note: The following article first appeared in the March 7 edition of the Official Sports Report (OSR) for the University of Iowa. OSR is a daily e-newsletter exclusively about the Iowa Hawkeyes. Click HERE to learn more.
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Another set of bits and pieces after another good day for the good guys in Indianapolis…
Bluder’s Bunch – the No. 3 seed – advanced to the championship game of the 2010 Big Ten Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament yesterday. The team will play the winner of No. 1 seed Ohio State and No. 4 seed Wisconsin. Had you declared that to be fact in mid-January, you might have been helped to your bed for a really, really good night’s rest. Heck of a deal.
For the second straight game in Indy a key member of Bluder’s squad had to take a seat early. This time it was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Jaime Printy. The rookie was whistled for her second foul four minutes into the first 20 and she sat the remainder having scored just three points. She rebounded nicely, ending the contest as one of four Hawkeyes in double-digits with 10 points.
Printy’s foul troubles opened the door for Trisha Nesbitt and she responded like a “warrior,” according to Bluder, with a career-high 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. Nesbitt was to the Michigan State game what Gabby Machado was to Friday’s game against Penn State – the “Next Man In.”
This one slipped past me on Friday: Iowa tied a Big Ten Tournament record with 11 three-point baskets in the victory over Penn State. Six of those three’s came in the second 20 minutes when Iowa shot at a 55 percent clip from behind the arc.
Freshman here, freshman there, freshmen everywhere. Iowa’s starting five Saturday included two rookies, two sophomores and a junior. The Spartans countered with a pair of seniors, a pair of juniors, and a sophomore. It’s been written here before, but you really have to like the immediate and long-term future for Bluder’s squad.
Speaking of freshmen – and this was noted here, too, recently – Morgan Johnson hasn’t had the headlines that have been earned by Jaime Printy, but the 6-foot-5 rookie from Platte City, Mo., has been steady – and, occasionally, very special – for the Hawkeyes and was steady again yesterday: 31 minutes played, a game-high 11 rebounds, 6 points, an assist and 3 blocked shots. The three blocks boosted Johnson’s 2010 total to 76 – a new school record for both a single season and by a freshman. Heck of a deal.
There’s a reason why they are called “free throws.” They are supposed to be “free points” – no defense…just you, the line, the ball and the basket. Bluder’s Bunch took full advantage of the freebies Saturday so much so you could effectively argue that the free points – and that’s what they are more times than not for this team – were the difference between a win and a loss. The stat sheet reads 13 of 14 in Saturday’s game and, for the record, 21 of 22 in Friday’s victory. That’s shootin’.
Kachine Alexander scored six of Iowa’s last nine points against the Spartans. As they say, `Kash’ is money in the bank. Heck of a deal.