Bulldogs Run Past Iowa in NCAA Tournament

March 19, 2011

SPOKANE, Wash. — Saturday’s first round NCAA Tournament game was expected to be a high-paced, up-and-down affair. The game lived up to its billing. The sixth-seeded University of Iowa women’s basketball team lost a track meet at 11th-seeded Gonzaga, 92-86, at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Gonzaga’s campus.

“I want to congratulate Gonzaga,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “They did a great job out there today, especially in the second half. They have an extremely terrific offense.”

Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures in the contest with sophomore Jaime Printy leading the way with 25 points on 8-of-19 shooting. Senior Kachine Alexander narrowly missed a triple-double, finishing with 18 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in her final collegiate game. Kelly Krei and Morgan Johnson, meanwhile, netted 15 and 10 points, respectively.

The Bulldogs’ Courtney Vandersloot led all scorers with 34 points on 10-of-23 shooting, while Kayla Standish finished with 30 points, making 15-of-20 field goal attempts.

Trailing by two (62-60) with 10:27 remaining, Gonzaga took control of the game’s momentum by using an 11-2 run to build a 73-65 advantage with 6:33 left. Following an Iowa timeout, Krei drained a 3-pointer to spark a 7-2 Iowa run to climb back to within three points (75-72) with 4:48 remaining.

The Hawkeyes pulled within two points three times in the final three minutes, but every time Iowa closed the gap, Gonzaga had an answer.

“We knew coming in that Gonzaga loved to run and loved the transition game,” said Printy. “I thought we did a pretty good job transitioning ourselves. At the end, it just felt like we were trading baskets, and we couldn’t because we were behind.”

After a Morgan Johnson jumper made the score 83-81, the Hawkeyes got a defensive stop, setting them up to take the lead. Alexander’s 3-pointer, however, was off the mark, and Gonzaga scored the next four points to take an 87-81 lead with 42 seconds remaining.

Printy tried to keep Iowa’s season alive, making a jumper and a 3-pointer to make the score 89-86 with 28 seconds left. Vandersloot made two free throws to extend the margin to five (91-86) before forcing a steal to seal the victory.

Iowa’s 3-point shooting kept the team in the game, as the squad made a school record 13 long balls in the game. The team had hit the previous mark of 12 three times during the 2010-11 season.

The Hawkeyes jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the first half on a Printy 3-pointer, which put her over the 1,000-point mark. She became the first Iowa player to accomplish the feat during their sophomore season.

Gonzaga battled back to take its first lead of the game (18-17) on a Vandersloot lay-up at the 14:04 mark. The remainder of the half was a dog fight, as there were six ties and six lead changes.

After a Katelan Redmon jumper put the Bulldogs on top 35-34, Krei connected on a 3-pointer to give Iowa the 37-35 lead with 2:37 left in the half. The long ball sparked a 10-2 Iowa run to give the Hawkeyes the 44-37 lead at the break.

Gonzaga opened the second half by scoring the first eight points to even the tally at 44. Iowa settled down, and it managed to stretch its lead to five (60-55) on a Kamille Wahlin 3-pointer and an Alexander lay-up, but the Bulldogs immediately answered before gaining the advantage with their 11-2 run.

With the defeat, Iowa finishes the 2010-11 season with a 22-9 overall record.

“I am really proud of my players,” said Bluder. “This is a team that only has two seniors in Kachine Alexander and Kelsey Cermak. Both of them have done so much for our program. Four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, no lower than third place in the Big Ten, four 20-win seasons; they established a legacy.

“They have been amazing and are great leaders.”

#11 Gonzaga 92, #11 Iowa 86 1st 2nd Final
#11 Gonzaga (29-4) 37 55 92
#6 Iowa (22-9) 44 42 86
Statistical Leaders
Points: Jaime Printy (UI) 25 | Courtney Vandersloot (GON) 34
Rebounds: Kachine Alexander (UI) 11 | Katelan Redmon (GON) 9
Assists: Kachine Alexander (UI) 9 | Courtney Vandersloot (GON) 7