Dec. 20, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Whether you look at it as 13 minutes or 780 seconds, it makes no difference to University of Iowa freshman Kayla Timmerman.
Timmerman, a developing post player for the Hawkeye women’s basketball team, saw extended playing time Wednesday during a 97-43 victory against Missouri State.
And she savored every priceless, precious moment on Mediacom Court.
“I haven’t played many minutes this season but I have to keep coming with a mindset that every minute is cherished,” Timmerman said. “I have to work my butt off in practice and hope for the best.”
Iowa led 16-10 when Hawkeye senior Morgan Johnson committed a second foul at the 12:10 mark of the first half. That’s when UI associate head coach Jan Jensen looked toward Timmerman on the bench.
“Coach J looked at me and said, `Hey, you have to be ready to play.’ I told myself that I could do this and I had confidence when I went in,” Timmerman said.
“This was a great opportunity for us to get (Kayla) some experience. When you have Morgan in foul trouble, plus a significant lead like that, those are times you need to get those players in and give them some confidence.”
UI head basketball coach
Timmerman missed her first field goal and first two free throw attempts during the four minutes of the first half. She also grabbed two rebounds and blocked a shot. More importantly, she was warmed up for a productive second half. Timmerman played nine minutes after the break, making 2-of-3 field goals (her only miss was a 3-point attempt), 2-of-2 free throws; with six rebounds — four of them on the offensive end.
“This was a great opportunity for us to get (Kayla) some experience,” said Bluder, after the Hawkeyes improved to 9-3 on the season. “When you have Morgan in foul trouble, plus a significant lead like that, those are times you need to get those players in and give them some confidence.”
Timmerman entered Wednesday’s game averaging 4.1 minutes in eight games. She charted 10 minutes in a season-opening 63-40 victory against Northern Illinois, but in her most recent outing — Dec. 1 against Northern Iowa — she played a minute.
“Sometimes we have put her in and she panicked a little bit,” Bluder said of Timmerman. “(Against Missouri State) she came out and played hard and put up impressive numbers.”
As a 6-foot-3 high school post player in Wayzata, Minn., Timmerman said the focus was on scoring points. Now she is seeing the benefits of an all-around game.
“In the college game I am learning that rebounding wins games and rebounding is the key to being a successful player,” Timmerman said. “I have to keep being more consistent in practice and keep working hard and hopefully I will get more minutes.”
Timmerman was one of six substitutes that helped the Hawkeyes post a 43-9 advantage in bench points over Missouri State.
“Everyone who came into this game played extremely hard,” Bluder said. “Whether it was Kali (Peschel), Kathy (Thomas), Melissa (Dixon), Trisha (Nesbitt), Kayla, or Nicole (Smith) — they all played hard coming off the bench and that is exactly what you want them to do. Our reserves came in and did a great job.”
The Hawkeyes have more than a week off before playing Texas in the San Diego Surf `N Slam Classic on Friday, Dec. 28.