Jan. 24, 2013
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Things weren’t favoring the University of Iowa women’s basketball team with 5:30 remaining in Thursday’s Big Ten Conference clash with Wisconsin.
Then Jaime Printy took over.
Printy, a Hawkeye senior guard whose season ended prematurely because of injury a year ago against the Badgers in Madison, scored 14 consecutive points in a span of 3:33 to lead Iowa from a one-point deficit to a 10-point lead in what turned into a 71-60 Hawkeye victory.
“Jaime Printy as a hero tonight in my opinion,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “That makes a coach’s life awful easy. She did it in all areas, taking it to the hoop, step-back 3’s, going to the free throw line; it was in all manners that she was looking to score.”
Printy scored a game-high 29 points, but it was her statistics line during the final 20 minutes that sticks out: 5-of-5 from the field, 2-of-2 from 3-point range, 10-of-11 from the free throw line, six rebounds.
“I didn’t want to lose,” Printy said. “I knew we should beat this team and we weren’t playing very well, and I didn’t want to lose. My teammates did a good job of finding me and there were some gaps to get to the rim and get to the free throw line, so I didn’t want to lose.”
Printy Time, which lasted from the 5:27 mark of the second half until 1:55 remained, consisted of a floater in the lane, a 3-pointer from the top of the key, a conventional 3-point play, a layup, and a 4-for-4 effort at the line when she was fouled going for defensive rebounds.
“We have been in these situations and we learned that every loose ball is ours,” Printy said. “Little hustle plays and everything has to be ours in the last four minutes of the game and our team did a good job of going out and playing hard and playing smart.”
For the season, Printy has made 33-of-33 free throws in the final five minutes of a game and she is 27-of-27 in the final two minutes.
Iowa improved to 15-5 overall, 4-2 in the Big Ten; Wisconsin is 9-11, 1-6.
The Hawkeyes did not attempt a free throw in the first half, but converted 16-of-18 in the second half, including 14 in a row to end the game. Iowa made 49 percent of its field goals (25-of-51) and held the Badgers to 37.5-percent shooting (24-of-64).
“Not the prettiest basketball we have played all year, but it’s a win,” Bluder said. I’m not going to complain about the things we didn’t do well; I’m going to celebrate the things we did do well.”
Three other Hawkeyes — Melissa Dixon, Bethany Doolittle, and Theairra Taylor — scored 10 points apiece. Doolittle had a team-high three blocked shots, and her seven rebounds were third among Hawkeyes behind Samantha Logic with nine and Printy with eight.
“That’s something to be celebrated; not the part that Morgan only had two points, but the part that we (still) won,” Bluder said.
Wisconsin led 55-53 after a 3-pointer by Jacki Gulczynski with 4:54 remaining. The Badgers missed their next six field goal attempts, while Iowa went on a 16-0 run with 12 points coming from Printy and two each by Dixon and Doolittle. The Hawkeyes were on top 69-55 with 64 seconds remaining when Wisconsin ended its scoring drought with a 3-pointer by Tiera Stephen.
Iowa shot 50 percent from the field in the first half (13-of-26) and led by 10 points (25-15) with three minutes to go before the break. But the Badgers went on a 7-2 spurt and the teams went into the locker room with the Hawkeyes leading, 27-22.
Iowa travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Sunday for a rematch with the Wolverines with a 1 p.m. (CT) tip. Michigan won, 68-64, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Jan. 6.
“We just say the word Michigan right now and all the hair raises on the back of our necks,” Bluder said. “We’re ready to get after it.”