Jan. 22, 2012
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By ADAM MEIER
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team led for most of the game Sunday afternoon at 21st-ranked Penn State, but a late second half run by the Lady Lions (15-4, 5-2) doomed the Hawkeyes (11-9, 3-4) as they fell, 68-52, inside the Bryce Jordan Center.
With 6:31 left in the game, sophomore Theairra Taylor made a jumper from the free throw line to give the Hawkeyes a 50-48 lead. Iowa then went scoreless for nearly five minutes and endured a 15-0 Penn State run during that span. Junior Jaime Printy finally stopped the bleeding with a driving layup to bring the deficit to 63-52, but with only 1:49 remaining, it was too little too late.
“It was a great six minutes to finish this game by Penn. State,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “I thought they played very well. We kind of self-destructed during that time, and they took every advantage of it.”
Senior Kamille Wahlin led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 21 points, 18 of which came in the first half.
“Kamille played very well this whole game,” said Bluder. “She had a nice game for us and shot the ball well. She knocked down some 3x for us, brought the ball up and only had one turnover.
“At halftime, you identify people that are hurting you and you try to do something differently. I think Penn State paid a lot more attention to Kamille [in the second half] than they did in the first half and did a really good job of being aware where she was. They weren’t going to help off of her. They helped off of her in the first half but did not in the second half.”
Printy scored 13 points and distributed seven assists. Freshman Bethany Doolittle added eight points on 4-of-4 shooting and blocked two shots.
Iowa started the game slowly, quickly falling behind 6-0. Wahlin promptly splashed in two 3-pointers, and after junior Morgan Johnson added a tip-in, the Hawkeyes grabbed an 8-6 lead. The game remained close until Johnson scored consecutive baskets, Wahlin followed with another 3-pointer and freshman Samantha Logic made two free throws to push Iowa’s lead to 27-19 with 4:56 left until halftime.
The Hawkeyes led by as many as eight points in the first half, but faltered by allowing a 7-0 Penn State run to close out the half. Even after the Lady Lion spurt, the Hawkeyes still led, 32-31, heading into the locker room.
Penn State out rebounded Iowa 53-34 in the game, including 20-5 on the offensive glass.
“We didn’t do a good job on the boards all night,” said Bluder. “We had 55 shots to their 71 shots. You can’t win many games when you spot somebody 16 opportunities to shoot the ball. Unfortunate for us, but a good job by Penn State.”
After shooting 12-of-28 (42.9 percent) in the first half, Iowa struggled from the field over the second 20 minutes, going 7-of-27 (25.9 percent) from the field, including 2-of-13 from 3-point range. For the game, the Hawkeyes went 6-of-28 (21.4 percent) from long distance; five of which came courtesy of Wahlin.
With the offense struggling, Wahlin and Printy nailed back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Hawkeyes a 40-35 lead with 15:42 left in the game. Later, Doolittle knocked down consecutive jumpers to give Iowa its biggest lead of the second half at 44-38 with 13:30 remaining. From that point on, the Penn State defense allowed just eight points for the rest of the game, allowing the Lady Lions to storm ahead in the final minutes.
The Hawkeyes return to action Thursday night at No. 20 Nebraska. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT) in Lincoln, Neb.