Nov. 13, 2010
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By RICHIE ZAWISTOWSKI
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It might not have been pretty, but a win is a win. After scoring 76 points in the season-opening women’s basketball game Friday, Iowa managed just 50 in its second outing…but it was still good enough Saturday.
The Hawkeyes (2-0 overall) won the Islander Tip-Off Tournament championship with a defensive battle in Corpus Christi, Texas, by defeating Arkansas State, 50-47. The game was a struggle throughout, as Iowa shot 29 percent from the floor and both teams combined for 31 turnovers.
“It wasn’t a very pretty win,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “We could never get in a flow, and it didn’t seem like anything was going our way. We turned the ball over too many times and we obviously didn’t shoot the ball well at all, and that’s our strength. So the thing I’m happy about is we held a team to 47 points. We won this game with our defense and our rebounding.”
Kamille Wahlin scored 14 points to lead all scorers and Morgan Johnson chipped in with 10 points and nine rebounds. Kachine Alexander added 12 points and eight rebounds. Iowa out-rebounded the Red Wolves, 42-33.
Wahlin got Iowa on the board right away with a 3-pointer, which seemed to set the tone for the Hawkeyes. Three of Iowa’s first four baskets were 3-pointers, with Wahlin hitting two and Jaime Printy making the other. Iowa led 11-4 after Wahlin’s second 3-pointer of the game with 3:17 gone by.
After an Alexander free throw with 13:40 remaining made the score 17-14 in favor of Iowa, the Hawkeyes went nearly five minutes without scoring. Thankfully their defense played the part. Kelsey Cermak’s layup snapped the Iowa drought, and gave the Hawkeyes the lead again, 19-18 with 8:49 remaining.
“It wasn’t a very pretty win. We could never get in a flow, and it didn’t seem like anything was going our way. We turned the ball over too many times and we obviously didn’t shoot the ball well at all, and that’s our strength. So the thing I’m happy about is we held a team to 47 points. We won this game with our defense and our rebounding.”
UI head coach Lisa Bluder
“I think our zone did a good job,” said Bluder. “It made them stop looking to penetrate so much to the hoop. It forced them to take more outside shots which isn’t their strength. I thought that was the best thing for us tonight.”
Another mini-drought hurt the Hawkeyes, as Iowa went three minutes — from 7:47 to 3:46 remaining in the half between Iowa baskets. Alexander’s layup with 3:46 pushed the Iowa lead to three, 23-20.
Iowa scored the rest of its points in the first half from the foul line, and after a basket from Arkansas State, the Hawkeyes went into halftime tied at 29.
“Thirteen-for-15, we shot 87-percent from the free-throw line, that’s the one area that we did a good job,” said Bluder.
Defense continued to be the name of the game in the second half.
Printy scored a layup making the score 31-29 after two Iowa possessions to start the half turned out empty.
Free throws by Arkansas State gave it a one-point lead, 32-31, but a conventional 3-point play from Wahlin gave Iowa the advantage again at 34-32 with 16:37 remaining.
However, another dry spell by Iowa ensued. The Hawkeyes went scoreless for the next eight minutes before Johnson snapped Iowa out of its funk and tied the game at 36 with 8:12 remaining.
The Hawkeyes scored their next trip down the floor off a Wahlin jumper, but Arkansas State answered, leaving the game tied at 38 with 7:03 remaining.
Four straight Iowa free throws and a 3-pointer by Alexander gave the Hawkeyes a needed boost. A 7-0 Iowa run gave the Hawkeyes a 45-40 lead with 4:29 remaining.
The Red Wolves answered by rattling off four straight points to trim the Iowa advantage to one point with 1:59 remaining.
However Printy drilled a clutch 3-pointer, putting Iowa back ahead by four, 48-44, with 1:43 remaining. Arkansas State answered again with a 3-pointer of its own to make the score 48-45 in favor of Iowa.
After an Iowa timeout, Printy found Johnson for a jump shot, putting Iowa ahead by three, 50-47, with 24 seconds left to play. Arkansas State missed its final two shots of the game — both 3-pointer attempts — and Iowa hung on for a 50-47 championship victory.
The Hawkeyes return home to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Nov. 16 to take on Bradley. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m.