Feb. 7, 2013
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- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
- 2013 Big Ten Tournament Information
MINNEAPOLIS — Poor shooting and allowing too many paint points doomed the University of Iowa women’s basketball team during a 72-60 loss at Minnesota on Thursday in Williams Arena.
The Hawkeyes (16-8 overall, 5-5 Big Ten) dropped their third game in a row on a night when they shot 28.6 percent from the field (18-of-63) and were outscored by 16 points in the paint (32-18). On top of that, Gopher sophomore Rachel Banham was hitting shots from all over the court and finished with 34 points.
Iowa held a 6-4 edge during a low-scoring first 6 ½ minutes, but once Minnesota grabbed a 7-6 lead on a 3-pointer by Shayne Mullaney, the Gophers never trailed again. Minnesota led by 14 points in the first half (29-15) and held a 46-33 advantage with 15:49 remaining when the Hawkeyes made a comeback.
UI senior Jaime Printy swished a 3-pointer with 5:18 left to pull the Hawkeyes within three points at 60-57. Two minutes later Melissa Dixon made a field goal to cut Minnesota’s lead to 62-59. That was as close as Iowa would get.
“We got down big and we fought back hard,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We’re playing some good defense and then Rachel Banham hits the really deep 3. After that it was pretty much over at that point.”
Printy made 5-of-9 3-point field goals and scored 21 points to lead the Hawkeyes. UI senior center Morgan Johnson compiled 13 points and 10 rebounds. She was 7-of-7 from the free throw line.
“We fought hard, we just came up short,” Printy said. “We have to try to keep improving and get ready for the next game. The season’s not over, but we have to start doing something now. We have three great opportunities next week so we have to come out strong.”
The Gophers received a big boost from Banham, who finished with 34 points in 35 minutes. She was 10-of-19 from the field (3-of-4 from 3-point) and 11-of-14 from the line, with nine rebounds. Her biggest dagger was the long 3 that put Minnesota up, 65-59, with 2:33 to go.
Iowa forced 16 turnovers and capitalized by scoring 27 points.
It marks the first time Minnesota has defeated Iowa since the 2009-10 season — a stretch of four games.
“We’re missing too many paint shots, we’re missing way too many high-percentage shots,” Bluder said. “We’re shooting fine from the 3-point line, but you can’t miss that many paint shots in a game and expect to win. That’s unfortunate; we have to keep trying to move on.”
Iowa returns home for two games, beginning Monday against Nebraska. The Hawkeyes will then host league-leading Penn State on Feb. 14.
“We have to get back in the gym and start getting ready for Nebraska and turn the page on this one,” Bluder said. “We have to turn all of our optimism and everything we have toward Nebraska.”