March 4, 2011
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INDIANAPOLIS — The 2011 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal match-up between Iowa and Ohio State lived up to its hype. In the end, the Buckeyes weathered a furious Hawkeye rally to claim a 71-61 victory at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
“They defended very, very well,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we’re capable of, but give credit to the Ohio State defense.”
The Buckeye defense limited the Hawkeyes to 32.8 percent (19-58) shooting for the game and 32 percent (8-25) from long range. On the flip side, Ohio State finished with a 48.2 percent (27-56) field goal percentage to go along with a 40.9 (9-22) mark from long range.
Four-time Big Ten Player of the Year Jantel Lavender was an important cog in the Buckeye defense, as she drew the task of guarding Iowa guard Kachine Alexander. The 6-5 Lavender limited Alexander to seven points on 2-of-15 shooting in the contest.
“Jantel did a great job on Kachine,” said Bluder. “I thought she stopped the drive very, very well because Kachine is good at that. She’s good at taking the ball to the hole, but she really took Kachine out of that, being able to get to the basket.”
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Brittany Johnson helped Ohio State build a 52-40 with 10 minutes remaining in the second half. The Hawkeyes, however, responded with an 11-0 run over the next five minutes to pull to with a single point at 52-51.
Jaime Printy and Alexander each knocked down a pair of free throws to open the run before Printy stole an inbounds pass, scored, was fouled and converted the free throw attempt for a 3-point play to cut the margin to five (52-47). The Hawkeye sophomore then scored the next four points at the charity stripe to pull her squad to within a single point.
Tayler Hill and Ashley Adams ended the Buckeye scoring drought with consecutive field goals before Printy connected on a deep 3-pointer to make the score 56-54. Johnson immediately answered, however, as she connected on her fifth long ball of the game to put Ohio State up 59-54.
With 2:25 remaining, Kelly Krei drained a long ball to keep the Hawkeyes alive and pull them to within a point (60-59) for the second time. Every time Iowa closed the gap, OSU’s Johnson had an answer.
The guard answered Krei’s 3-pointer with a long ball of her own at the 2:08 mark to push the margin back to four. With OSU clinging to the 63-61 lead, Johnson then made her seventh three of the contest at the 1:16 mark to ice the game.
“When you bank in a three from the sideline, you know life is going pretty well for you at the time,” said Bluder of OSU’s Johnson. “She’s a very, very good set shooter, and you have to know where she is all the time. She got open for some open threes.”
In the opening 20 minutes, Ohio State jumped out to a 17-12 lead over the first nine minutes before back-to-back triples by Kalli Hansen and Kamille Wahlin gave Iowa the 18-17 lead. The Hawkeyes stretched their lead to 27-23 on a pair of Morgan Johnson free throws late in the half before Ohio State converted the final two field goals to even the score at 27 heading into the locker room.
Printy led a group of two Iowa players in double figures, netting 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Johnson finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, and Alexander added seven points to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds.
Brittany Johnson connected on 8-of-16 field goal attempts (7-14 3PT) to lead a group of four Buckeyes in double figures. Lavender finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
Iowa (22-8) will now wait for the seedings to be announced for the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
|#5 Ohio State 71, #4 Iowa 61||1st||2nd||Final|
|#5 Ohio State (20-9)||27||44||71|
|#4 Iowa (22-8)||27||34||61|
|Points: Jaime Printy (UI) 19 | Brittany Johnson (OSU) 23|
|Rebounds: Kachine Alexander (UI) 11 | Jantel Lavender (OSU) 14|
|Assists: Kamille Wahlin (UI) 5 | Samantha Prahalis (OSU) 8|