Hawkeyes Face Tough Road in Indy

March 4, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team has a tough row to hoe if it is going to thrust the Big Ten Tournament trophy in the air Sunday afternoon.

“We’re not going to have an easy road,” said sophomore guard Jaime Printy. “It’s a tough road, but we’re ready for it.”

The Hawkeyes open play against Ohio State tonight at approximately 7:30 p.m., at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. With a victory, Iowa will likely face top-seeded Michigan State in the semifinals.

“We won on our home court, they won on their home court, now it’ll be interesting to see who can win on a neutral court,” said Kachine Alexander of tonight’s game against Ohio State.

The Hawkeyes are looking to avenge a two-point loss to the Buckeyes in last season’s Big Ten Tournament championship game. That narrow loss stayed with the team throughout the season, and is something that cannot be forgotten.

“I don’t think it can ever be (forgotten) whether it be 20 years from now,” said Alexander, who earned her second straight first team all-Big Ten honor. “I will always remember those close games. It’s definitely not forgotten.”

“Ever since last year at the championship, we’ve wanted to play them, especially in this tournament,” said Printy, who earned second team all-Big Ten honors in 2011. “We knew we’d have to play them sooner or later, so we might as well get it over with the first round.”

The Hawkeyes enter the tournament riding high, as the team has won five straight games to improve its record to 22-7 overall. The team’s confidence is peaking at the right time, which could translate into a deep run into the tournament.

“We definitely ended on a good note,” said Printy. “We’re playing the best ball that we’ve been playing all season. That’s really good going into this tournament, giving us confidence and everyone is playing well, playing together.”

It won’t take much to get the Hawkeyes amped up for tonight’s game or for any game in the tournament. Postseason basketball brings out a different range of emotions for the squad.

“It is definitely exciting, no matter what it is or who we face,” said Alexander. “It’s the Big Ten Tournament — I don’t even know how to describe it — I love the Big Ten Tournament, I love Indianapolis, I love the whole feel of it and playing Ohio State is definitely a plus in that matter.

“It’s going to be a great game. For it to happen on the first night is going to be a fun game to watch.”

Tonight’s game will be broadcast live to a national audience on the Big Ten Network beginning at approximately 7:30 p.m. (CT).