Jan. 19, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — It was a game that the University of Iowa women’s basketball team had to have, and the Hawkeyes found a way to get it done, downing Wisconsin, 69-57, Thursday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“This was an extremely important game for us,” said senior Kamille Wahlin, who finished with 15 points and five assists. “We needed it being 2-3 (in Big Ten play) and this putting us back at .500 in the conference. Going into two road games, you want to protect home court and get those home wins.”
The victory snapped Iowa’s two game losing streak, improving the Hawkeyes’ record to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in Big Ten play. Wisconsin falls to 5-13 and 1-5 in conference play.
After trailing 28-27 at the break, Iowa appeared to take control early in the second half, scoring 10-of-the-first-12 points to take a 37-30 lead. After trading long balls, the Badgers fought back, reeling off seven straight to even the game at 40 and start a stretch where there were four ties and three lead changes.
With the game knotted a 47, the Hawkeyes took control of the game, using a 14-0 run to build a double digit advantage. Junior Jaime Printy opened with a scoop layup before Wahlin had back-to-back layups to make the score 53-47. The backcourt duo followed by each making a pair of free throws to push Iowa’s advantage to 57-47 at the 7:49 mark.
The Badgers went six minutes without a field goal, as Iowa pushed its lead to 61-47 on a Bethany Doolittle jumper with 5:14 remaining.
“We switched up our defense in the last 10 minutes of the game and started switching on more screens, which we hadn’t done earlier in the game,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “That made us a little more aggressive on defense. When we went on our run, we hit high percentage shots.”
Printy paced the Hawkeyes with 25 points — her ninth 20-point game this season — making 7-of-14 attempts from the floor and all nine attempts from the free throw stripe. Along with Wahlin’s 15 points, senior Kelly Krei was the third UI player in double digits, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Junior Morgan Johnson led all players with nine rebounds.
Printy’s 25 points moved her into 10th place on Iowa’s career scoring list with 1,364 points.
The Hawkeyes shot 50 percent (24-of-48) from the floor and went a perfect 16-of-16 from the free throw stripe, tying a school record for free throw percentage. Iowa dominated the action on the glass, 41-19. The Badgers went 22-of-57 from the field (38.6 percent) and made 10 3-pointers — their second most this season.
“The thing I am happiest about is the rebounding,” said Bluder. “Coming back after the Purdue game and rebounding like we did tonight. It feels good to be back on the winning track.”
Morgan Paige, a sophomore guard from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, paced the Badgers with 20 points, making 7-of-15 shots, which included six 3-pointers.
After playing to a five all tie to open the game, the Hawkeyes reeled off nine straight points to gain a 14-5 advantage. With Iowa leading 18-9 with 9:09 remaining in the half, Wisconsin rattled off 14 unanswered points to grab a 23-18 advantage.
A Paige 3-pointer and a Jade Davis lay-up stretched the Badgers’ lead to 28-21 with 3:40 remaining in the first half. Iowa closed out the half strong behind lay-ups by Samantha Logic and Kelly Krei and a pair of Jaime Printy free throws to make the score 28-27 Wisconsin heading into the locker room.
Iowa shot 37 percent (10-of-27) from the field, but out rebounded the Badgers, 21-10, over the first 20 minutes. The Hawkeyes, however, committed 14 first half turnovers.
Iowa returns to action Sunday afternoon at No. 21 Penn State. The game is slated to begin at 2 p.m., and it will be televised on ESPN2.