`We're on a Win Streak Now'
Jan. 5, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kalli Hansen has been a role player for the University of Iowa women's basketball team. Her role Wednesday was to lead the Hawkeyes to their first Big Ten Conference victory of the season.
No. 21 Iowa (13-3 overall, 1-2 Big Ten) defeated Minnesota (8-8, 0-3), 63-57, snapping a two-game losing streak in Williams Arena. To do so, they had to overcome a 38-25 deficit with 14:45 remaining.
Hansen's 3-point field goal with 3:10 left brought Iowa back from that 13-point hole to tie the game, 53-53. Sixteen seconds later she made two free throws that gave the Hawkeyes their first lead (55-53) since 5:13 remained in the first half. She wasn't done. Hansen made two free throws with eight seconds left giving Iowa a two-possession lead at 61-56.
"It's nice to have that person coming off the bench who is able to produce for you like that," UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. "Kalli played very maturely on the floor for us. She did a nice job and her 3 was big."
Kamille Wahlin closed the scoring with two free throws with 2.7 seconds left, giving the Hawkeyes a six-point win.
Kachine Alexander paced Iowa offensively with 20 points and five assists. She made 7 of 10 field goals and all five free throws to go along with eight rebounds. Morgan Johnson posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Wahlin scored 14 points with five assists. Jaime Printy added 10 points.
"We kind of have the monkey off our back," Bluder said. "We're ready to roll now and take off."
In 19 minutes, Hansen grabbed eight rebounds and scored seven points.
Iowa made 17 of 20 free throws and the Hawkeyes were 14 of 16 over the final 11 minutes.
Last Jan. 21 Iowa took a 1-6 record on the road to Illinois and won, 74-65, to start a three-game winning streak. Bluder revisited many of those feelings Wednesday.
"I almost feel like it's last year," she said. "We win at Illinois, Jaime Printy yells, `we're on a win streak now.' Same scenario today. We're 0-2, on the road, we get our Big Ten victory and Jaime Printy comes in and yells, `we're on a win streak.'"
Iowa made 20 of 54 field goals (37 percent) and 6 of 20 3-point field goals. The Hawkeyes committed just three turnovers in the second half and limited the Gophers to five offensive rebounds over the final 20 minutes.
With a layup at the 11:54 mark in the first half, Alexander became the 27th player in school history to record 1,000 career points. She is the eighth player in school history to collect 1,000 career point and 700 career rebounds, and the third in school history to record 1,000 career points, 700 career rebounds and 200 career assists.
"Kachine will look at this and be mad because she only had eight rebounds and Morgan (Johnson) out-rebounded her," Bluder said. "She had some great penetration and when she got to the free throw line, she converted."
Iowa lost on its two most recent trips to Minneapolis -- 64-58 in 2009 and 72-69 in overtime last season.
The Hawkeyes entertain No. 20 Ohio State on Saturday, Jan.8, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in a game televised nationally by CBS. It is "Kachine Alexander Bobblehead Day" with the first 1,000 fans receiving the souvenir and another 500 fans winning theirs as a result of being given a winning scratch-to-win ticket as they entered the Arena.
"We know it's going to be a tough game," Bluder said. "You have two top-25 teams against each other in Carver; I know we're going to have a great crowd. It's on CBS -- national television -- and I don't remember the last time Iowa women's basketball was on CBS. This is a great opportunity for us."