Nov. 25, 2011
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By ADAM MEIER
FREEPORT, Bahamas — It’s not often that a basketball team gets the opportunity to compete and take part in a tropical vacation at the same time. For the University of Iowa women’s team, this opportunity arose in the form of the Junkanoo Jam played in The Bahamas.
After three days of enjoying the climate and amenities, Lisa Bluder’s Hawkeyes got down to business on Friday and defeated St. John’s, 60-52.
The victory improved Iowa’s record to 4-1, while St. John’s fell to 2-3.
With 7:22 remaining in the first half, the Hawkeyes led by two points. Iowa then fell victim to a 10-0 St. John’s run that gave the Red Storm a 28-22 lead.
The Hawkeyes fought back with four Printy free throws and a 3-pointer by freshman Melissa Dixon to tie the score at 30 just before halftime. However, Shenneika Smith of St. John’s nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer that gave the Red Storm a 33-30 advantage heading into the locker room.
Four minutes into the second half Iowa faced a 45-37 deficit. Head coach Lisa Bluder then made the switch to a 2-3 zone defense which stymied the Red Storm offense. After a defensive stop, Iowa’s Kelli Krei knocked down a mid-range jumper that sparked a 13-0 Hawkeye run. Senior Kamille Wahlin capped the run with a 3-pointer to give the Hawkeyes a 52-45 lead with 11:53 left in the game.
The tough Iowa defense caused St. John’s to shoot only 7-of-26 (26.9 percent) in the second half after shooting 14-of-30 (46.7 percent) in the first 20 minutes.
Iowa managed to score only eight points throughout the remainder of the contest, but thanks to a scrappy defensive effort, the Hawkeyes never relinquished the lead during that span.
The Hawkeyes ended the game shooting 21-of-54 (38.9 percent), including 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) from 3-point range.
The Hawkeyes continue play in the Junkanoo Jam tomorrow, when they face No. 4/5 Texas A&M at 2:15 p.m. (CT).