Nov. 20, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Morgan Johnson scored 16 of her game-high 19 points in the second half to lead the University of Iowa women’s basketball team to a 58-44 victory over Robert Morris on Tuesday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I had a lot more touches in the second half, and we moved the ball a little bit more and used our short corner a little bit more,” said Johnson of her big second half performance. “The interior passing was better in the second half.”
After laboring to a 23-20 halftime lead, the Hawkeyes came out of the locker room a different team. Iowa used a 17-4 run over the first seven minutes to break open a 16-point lead. The Hawkeyes made 54 percent of its attempts (7-of-13) during the spurt, after shooting 32 percent in the first half.
“Coming into this game you’re always a little bit worried because this is one of those trap games,” said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. “You’re playing North Carolina (on Sunday) and you only have one day to prepare for this game. Your team looks at it and sees there is an 0-3 team coming to town.
“I don’t think it was our “A” top 10 performance, but I don’t think it was a bad performance either, considering all of those things. We had to work extremely hard on Sunday to play that game and then two days later play this game.”
Johnson had consecutive baskets to make the score 29-20 and her layup at the 14:52 mark pushed the Hawkeye advantage to double digits (33-22). Sophomore Melissa Dixon followed with a 3-pointer to push the margin to 36-22. Freshman Claire Till capped off the run with a pair of free throws with 12:41 to stretch the lead to 16 (40-24).
Robert Morris wouldn’t go away quietly, as it used an 8-0 run — with five points coming at the free throw line — to cut the lead to 40-32 with 8:40 remaining. Senior Jaime Printy then made the most of two looks from long range on the same possession, and the second one dropped, giving the Hawkeyes the 43-32 lead at the 7:37 mark.
The Colonials kept pace with the Hawkeyes, keeping the lead at the 10-point mark, but they didn’t have an answer for Johnson. The Platte City, Mo., native scored eight straight points for the Hawkeyes over a three-minute stretch, helping the Hawkeyes maintain a 51-39 lead with 4:09 left.
Robert Morris trimmed the lead to nine (53-44) with on Lou Mataly’s 3-pointer with 1:52 remaining, but Iowa scored the final five points to run out 14-point winners.
Johnson was the only Hawkeye in double digits, making 8-of-13 attempts en route to her 19 point performance. She also had 11 rebounds to notch her second consecutive double-double and the 14th of her career. Printy scored eight points to go along with six rebounds and five assists, while sophomore Samantha Logic had nine assists and six boards.
The Hawkeyes shot 38.6 percent (22-of-57) from the field and 36.8 percent (7-of-19) from 3-point land. Iowa won the battle on the boards, 44-34 and held a 22-10 advantage in points in the paint.
Defensively, the Hawkeyes limited the Colonials to 28.3 percent shooting (15-of-53), which included a 28.6 percent mark (6-of-21) from long range.
The first half was tightly contested, as Robert Morris led 9-5 through the first five minutes and 13-8 at the 12:25 mark. Iowa came out cold from the floor, making 4-of-16 attempts to start the game before heating up.
“Their zone slowed us down, and we weren’t able to push like we wanted to do,” said Logic. “After a big game like North Carolina, emotionally I don’t think we were emotionally 100 percent like we should be every game. We need to fix that for upcoming games.”
The Hawkeyes used a 12-0 run midway through the half to turn a five-point deficit into a seven-point lead. Dixon’s 3-pointer made the score 13-11 at the 11:10 mark and Bethany Doolittle followed with a jumper to tie the game at 13. Theairra Taylor’s 3-pointer gave Iowa an 18-13 advantage before Printy made two free throws to stretch the lead to 20-13.
The Colonials cut the deficit to 21-20 courtesy of Mataly’s 3-pointer with 27 seconds left in the half, but Taylor made a jumper with three seconds remaining to give Iowa a 23-20 lead at the break. The Hawkeyes shot 32 percent (8-of-25) from the field, and the two teams combined for 21 turnovers.
Iowa (4-1) returns to action Friday, facing Florida International at 5 p.m. (CT) in the FIU Thanksgiving Tournament in Miami.