March 26, 2013
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- Big Ten Network: Free Hawkeye Video
- 24 Hawkeyes to Watch
IOWA CITY, Iowa — On a night when the University of Iowa women’s basketball team needed a near-perfect performance, it couldn’t deliver.
Iowa exhibited the grit, drive, and competitiveness that made it a 21-win team, but No. 2 Notre Dame emerged with a 74-57 victory Tuesday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“You have to expect almost a near perfect night to beat a team like Notre Dame, and we just didn’t have it tonight,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said.
The Hawkeyes (21-13) finished with a higher field goal percentage than Notre Dame (40 percent to 37.3), despite missing all 11 3-point field goal attempts.
Sophomore center Bethany Doolittle ended the season on a positive note, scoring a team-high 16 points and making 8-of-14 field goals. She also had five rebounds and two blocked shots.
“Bethany understood that we needed her tonight,” Bluder said. “She gets some confidence, she hits a couple of those short corner shots and gets confidence, and it’s amazing what confidence can do for a kid. That’s how you get on a roll offensively.”
Senior guard Jaime Printy and junior forward Theairra Taylor scored 10 points apiece; sophomore guard Samantha Logic added nine points and nine rebounds with five assists, and senior center Morgan Johnson scored seven points with five rebounds and two blocked shots.
It was the final collegiate game for Johnson, Trisha Nesbitt, and Printy, who, during their careers, won 82 times and advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times.
“Tough to say goodbye to three really good seniors,” Bluder said. “Just a tremendous group of women, great leaders. That’s probably the hardest thing about tonight. It’s not really the losing, it’s just that the season is over, and you don’t get to coach them again, so that’s kind of tough.”
A made layup by Doolittle with 1:21 left in the first half pulled the Hawkeyes to 41-32. The closest the Hawkeyes got in the second half was 52-38 after a made jumper by Doolittle.
Now for the bad news: Notre Dame forced Iowa into 21 turnovers — 11 by Logic — and out-rebounded the Hawkeyes by nine (with 21 offensive).
“I think the trap gave me a lot of trouble,” Logic said. “I didn’t give us a chance. I wasn’t composed enough and we, as a team, at some points weren’t composed enough.”
Notre Dame improves to 33-1 and advances to an NCAA Regional Semifinal on March 31 against 12th-seeded Kansas in Norfolk, Va.
“I was really pleased with our perimeter defense,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “Our goal was to guard the 3-point line, and we did a good job of finding Printy and Dixon on the 3-point line. Overall, I thought our press bothered them a little bit at the beginning of the game. Got us off to a good start to start the second half.”
Printy finished her career 443-of-497 (89.1 percent) from the free throw line, which is shy of the Big Ten and Iowa career record of 89.2, held by Wendy Ausdemore.
Printy shot 92.5 percent (135-of-146) from the free throw line on the season, breaking the Iowa single-season record and tying the Big Ten single-season record. The previous Iowa record was 89.4 (101-of-113) by Lindsey Meder in 2000-01. The Big Ten record was 92.5 (99-of-107) by Indiana’s Cyndi Valentin in 2003-04.
Printy finished her career ranked second in career 3-pointers made (252), third in career scoring (1,841) and tied for fifth in career assists (412).
Johnson finished as Iowa’s all-time leading shot-blocker (293), fourth in career rebounds (886) and ninth in career scoring (1,582). Johnson also holds the school record for career games played (130) and career starts (129). Johnson played in every game of her Hawkeye career.
The last time Iowa did not make a 3-point field goal in a game was against No. 6 Rutgers on Dec. 4, 2005 (0-of-6).
Iowa finished the season with a 21-13 record, marking the seventh time in Bluder’s 13 seasons that the Hawkeyes have reached 20 wins. Iowa has collected 20 or more wins in five of the last six years.