Feb. 24, 2011
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- Women’s Basketball – W.I.N. Video
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- Iowa and the Big Ten Network
- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
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By RICHIE ZAWISTOWSKI
Alexander held back tears thanking her teammates and fans in her postgame speech while flashing her contagious smile throughout the recognition for the two Iowa seniors, who just played for the final time on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Alexander and Cermak can continue to smile as they walked off winners, as Iowa (21-7, 9-6) defeated Illinois (7-21, 2-13), 83-64, in a game much tighter than the final score.
“I didn’t know what emotions I had,” said Alexander. “For the first time in my life, I couldn’t put a finger on it. But it was a good emotion. I wasn’t sad, I was really excited and happy and ready to get it going.”
“No one can compare to Kachine Alexander,” said UI guard Jaime Printy, who led all scorers with 32 points. “She’s one of the most fun people I’ve ever played with. I don’t know how she gets rebounds like she does, and I don’t know how she does half the stuff she does on the court, but both of them will be missed so much so it’s great to send them out on this note.”
Alexander had 16 points to go along with a game-high eight assists, while also hauling in six rebounds. Printy racked up a career-high in points along with eight rebounds; Morgan Johnson had 10 points and five blocks.
“My teammates did an awesome job of finding me for some open 3’s,” said Printy. “They did awesome at penetrating and kicking and I think we played really well as a team.”
Iowa’s defense was active all game, forcing Illinois into 22 turnovers in which Iowa converted into 25 points. The Hawkeyes also had six blocks and nine steals.
“I thought we did a really good job with our traps,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “I thought we did a really nice job of creating turnovers. We forced 22 turnovers in those situations and we converted off of them too. We got 25 points off of those turnovers so I thought we did a nice job of that.”
Iowa took its first lead of the game on a fast break layup from Alexander, 12-10, with 15:57 left in the opening half. Johnson started the break as she swatted an Illinois shot underneath, getting Iowa into transition, one of her game-high five blocks on the night.
“I think my teammates do a great job after I block a shot of really getting on the ball and hustling and being aggressive and getting out in transition,” said Johnson.
With the game tied at 26 and 8:06 remaining, Iowa’s Kalli Hansen drove the ball near the right elbow and was fouled. Hansen got off the off-balance shot while fouled, and the ball found nothing but net. Hansen converted the and-one opportunity, giving Iowa a 29-26 lead with 8:01 left in the half.
The three-point play seemed to spark Iowa, as it didn’t allow an Illinois basket for the next four minutes, going on an 8-0 run.
Just moments later after an Alexander steal, Printy lofted a deep 3-pointer from nearly 25-feet away that sailed through the net. The referee called a foul on Illinois off-the-ball during the shot, but since it did not affect Printy’s shot, no free throws were awarded. The shot from deep pushed the Iowa advantage to 32-26 with 7:37 remaining in the half.
The Iowa defense allowed just three baskets in the final eight minutes of the half, as the Hawkeyes went into the locker room with a 40-33 lead. The Hawkeyes were engaged in active defense in the first half, as hands were up contesting shots and playing passing lanes. Iowa forced Illinois into 15 turnovers in the first half alone, and turned them into 18 points.
A 12-5 run by Illinois to start the second half tied the game at 45, five minutes in, the first tie of the game since it was 12-12 in the first half. Alexander brought Iowa back into the lead with a layup, making the score 50-48 with 12:37 remaining in the contest.
Just moments later, Illinois took its first lead of the game, 54-53 since early in first half.
However, the Illinois lead would not last long.
Iowa turned up the intensity a notch and rattled off seven straight points, capped by an Alexander layup, making the score 60-54 with 6:41 remaining and forcing Illinois to call timeout.
After an Illinois 3-pointer, Johnson fed Kelly Krei out of a double team in the corner for a wide-open shot from deep that found nothing but net for a 63-57 Iowa lead. Johnson did her part on the defensive end the next trip down, blocking an Illinois shot that sent Iowa into a fast break. Kamille Wahlin and Printy led the 2-on-1 fast break, that ended with a Wahlin layup making the score 65-57 with 5:12 left.
Just minutes later, another Johnson block ignited another Hawkeye fast break that led to Hansen converting the layup making the score 71-57 with 3:52 remaining. Two Alexander free throws came next, capping a game-breaking 20-3 run by Iowa from the seven minute mark to the three minute mark in the second half.
Illinois would come no closer as the Hawkeyes cruised the remaining three minutes to the 19-point win. Iowa closes its season at Indiana on Sunday with a tip-off time scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT).
“We’re going into Indiana with a lot riding on the game,” said Bluder. “We do know that if we win we’re almost guaranteed a first-round bye.”
|Iowa 83, Illinois 64||1st||2nd||Final|
|Illinois (7-21, 2-13)||33||31||64|
|Iowa (21-7, 9-6)||40||43||83|
|Points: Adrienne GodBold (Illinois) 18 | Jaime Printy (Iowa) 32|
|Rebounds: Karisma Penn (Illinois) 8 | Jaime Printy (Iowa) 8|
|Assists: Karisma Penn/Lydia McCully (Illinois) 5 | Kachine Alexander (Iowa) 8|