Nov. 19, 2011
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By ADAM MEIER
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team fought off a late rally to defeat Northern Iowa, 78-74, on Saturday afternoon at the McLeod Center.
“I feel great about this win today,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “This was a team win. I feel great with this win, and I think it will help us down the line; coming into an environment like this and getting a win against an in-state rival.”
With 11:42 left in the contest, Iowa held its biggest lead at 57-43. That comfortable lead slowly evaporated as miscues and turnovers forced by UNI allowed to Panthers to get back into the game.
Leading 69-65 with 2:25 remaining in the game, junior Jaime Printy knocked down a critical 3-pointer from the wing to push Iowa’s advantage to seven points. The Panthers did not let up, however, and continued to pressure the Hawkeyes into mistakes.
With 1:30 remaining, UNI’s K.K. Armstrong stole a pass from senior Kamille Wahlin in the backcourt and raced in for an easy layup; bringing Iowa’s lead to 73-72.
Iowa came up empty on its next possession and with 36 seconds left, UNI’s Katelin Oney drew a foul and converted two free throws to give the Panthers a 74-73 lead.
Wahlin was not going to let her turnover cost her team the game. Down by one with 29 seconds to play, Wahlin spotted up three feet behind the arc, received a pass from Theairra Taylor and splashed in a clutch 3-pointer from the top of the key to put the Hawkeyes up 76-74.
“Seniors make big plays,” Bluder said. “You want the ball in their hands in that type of situation. She (Kamille) was upset with the turnover she had about a minute earlier. When she took that shot she jumped into it; she was strong and took it up confidently. She was way out there.”
Printy grabbed a defensive rebound on the other end after a miss and made both of her free throws to put the game away.
Junior Morgan Johnson paced the Hawkeyes, scoring 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go along with five rebounds and four blocked shots. Iowa demonstrated great balance once again on Saturday with five players scoring in double-digits.
Along with Johnson’s 23 point performance, Printy scoring 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Wahlin and freshmen Bethany Doolittle and Samantha Logic each added 10 points, and Logic added 11 rebounds to tally her first career double-double.
Bluder was particular pleased with the inside play of Johnson and Doolittle.
“They both played extremely well,” Bluder said. “They looked strong. They looked confident and took their time with their moves. I was very happy with our inside play today.”
The Hawkeyes shot 28-of-63 (44.4 percent) from the field, including 6-of-19 (31.6 percent) from 3-point range.
Iowa’s next game is Friday, Nov. 25, against St. John’s in the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. Tipoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. (CT).