Nov. 9, 2012
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By MATT COZZI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — She’s back.
Following a nine month-plus recovery from an ACL tear she suffered in her left knee, senior Jaime Printy was ready to return to the hardwood.
Then she aggravated her hamstring in practice last week, leaving her out of the University of Iowa’s women’s basketball team’s exhibition against Quincy (Ill.) on Nov. 4, forcing her to come off the bench Friday night.
No matter. Printy’s return is official now, no more setbacks. She proved that on Friday, helping lead the Hawkeyes (1-0) to a 63-40 victory over Northern Illinois (0-1) in an opening round game of the WNIT on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The first reserve off the bench, Printy checked in after the first media timeout and promptly tallied her first basket of the season a few seconds later. The Marion, Iowa, native finished the contest with 11 points to lead all scorers on 3-of-4 shooting. She was also 4-of-4 from the free-throw line.
“It’s a great feeling, I can’t even describe it,” said Printy. “It’s so fun to be out there with my teammates, and play in front of these fans. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time.”
From the opening tip, the Hawkeyes clicked in nearly every phase.
With the score tied at six apiece early on in the first half, UI head coach Lisa Bluder’s squad pulled away from the Huskies. With sophomore Samantha Logic running the point and sophomore Melissa Dixon, Printy, and others creating space on the perimeter, the Hawkeyes finished the half on a 30-7 run.
“It’s really good to come out with a win tonight,” Logic said. “Everyone got some playing time. It’s fun to finally be out here playing against someone other than ourselves and that it actually counts.”
Dixon finished with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting. The Johnsburg, Ill., native was 2-of-3 from the 3-point line and also chipped in a pair of assists. Logic — a unanimous Big Ten all-freshman team selection in 2011-12 — finished with 10 points and three rebounds.
Iowa’s other two seniors, Morgan Johnson and Trisha Nesbitt, also had solid debuts. Johnson scored 11 points and posted five rebounds. Nesbitt hit the only 3-pointer she attempted, while adding in three rebounds. Sophomore Bethany Doolittle had a career-high 6 blocks.
Overall, Iowa shot 40.4 percent from the field. The Huskies shot 29.2 percent.
“We got a lot of players involved in this game,” Bluder said. “I thought it was an excellent first time out for us.”
Iowa returns to action Sunday, facing Illinois State at 2 p.m. in the WNIT quarterfinals inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.