Bluder's Bunch Blasts Ohio State
Jan. 8, 2011
PARDON OUR PROGRESS! As friends of the University of Iowa and fans of the Hawkeyes know, the UI Athletics Department is well into a multi-million dollar revitalization of Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This important and exciting project has reduced for this season the number of ticket windows that are operational on game nights. Fans attending the home events of the 2010-11 UI men's basketball, women's basketball and wrestling teams are invited to avoid game night delays by purchasing their event tickets online or in advance of game day. If your schedule doesn't allow for an advance purchase, we recommend you consider arriving at the Arena a little earlier than originally planned. Go Hawks!
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A pair of nationally ranked Big Ten Conference basketball teams squared off in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday afternoon. Who won?
The team with the balanced scoring attack.
The team that scored from the outside during the first half and drove it in the second.
The team that protected the ball.
The team that kept one of the nation's best players - and the Big Ten's defending MVP - in check...to say the least.
That team? The Iowa Hawkeyes.
Bluder's Bunch - the nation's No. 21 ranked team - rolled to a 89-76 victory over 20th ranked Ohio State Saturday before 9,865 fans inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena and a national television audience tuning in on CBS.
"We were disciplined. We only had nine turnovers. That was great to see. Our shooting was back to what we expect out of our players, and they just did such a great job. I thought our focus and intensity getting ready for this game was excellent, and I'm just really proud of them," Lisa Bluder said during her post-game visit.
"It's our second top 25 victory. We beat Iowa State convincingly, now we beat Ohio State. They're the number one picked team in the Big Ten to begin the year. We have a lot of respect for their program. So any time you beat somebody that you respect, it feels good."
Iowa scored first and, while they didn't lead from start to finish, they never trailed by more than three during the first 20 minutes and not at all during the last 20. And, as the final score indicated, it was a horse race from the start as evidenced by the fact the visitors led 25-23 when the first television timeout was called four or so minutes into the contest.
Eight different Hawkeyes scored for Iowa - including four in double-digits - but, make no mistake, this game was Jaime Printy's. The 2010 Big Ten Freshman of the Year scored a game-high 25 points powered by white-hot shooting from the field (8 of 10) and 7 of 9 shooting from the stripe. The sophomore's only two three-pointers came on back-to-back possessions in the final minutes of the first half that propelled Iowa to a 45-40 lead at intermission.
Kamille Wahlin burst out of her shooting slump to score 18 points with 9 coming from behind the arc. Kachine Alexander added 16 and Morgan Johnson 10. Alexander added 13 rebounds, Wahlin four assists, and Johnson three blocked shots.
Ohio State was led by Samantha Prahalis. The guard scored 22 points but made just one of nine attempts from behind the arc. Jantel Lavender, the Buckeyes' undisputed offensive leader, was limited to just 14 points - 10 points below her season average - and just six in the second half. Lavender did pace all rebounders with 17 but was charged with five turnovers.
"We think she's terrific. We think that Jantel Lavender is one of the best posts in America, so we gave her a lot of respect today. We tried to keep our weak side defense around her," Bluder said.
"I thought Morgan did a really nice job on her. I thought Morgan's only a sophomore, but she went against some of the best players and the best posts in America last year as a freshman. I just think it helps her maturity, and I knew going into the summer she knew what to work on to be a better defensive player."
Printy's game was a micro of Iowa's macro on this afternoon. As noted, she was brilliant during the game's first 20 minutes and, so, too were her teammates. Iowa made 16 of its 34 field goal attempts including a blistering 6 of 12 from behind the arc. They needed to, too, because Ohio State just as hot from the field.
In the second 20 minutes, Iowa went inside, attacking Lavender, who had picked up her third personal foul late in the first half. The Hawkeyes took just seven shots from behind the arc in the final 20. As she was in the first 20, Printy made four of her five field goal attempts in the second half. However, none of her second half attempts were three's. In fact, all of her second half attempts came from the paint.
"Jaime Printy put on a penetration clinic out there today. She was excellent getting to the basket can, getting to the rim. She's probably going to beat herself up about missing those two free throws. But she was outstanding, I thought," Bluder said.
Another key to the victory was Iowa's treasuring of the basketball. Iowa committed only nine turnovers while forcing 12 and turnig those into 11 points.
Iowa lost to the Buckeyes in each of the team's two meetings last year including a two-point affair in the 2010 Big Ten Conference Tournament championship game. In each game, Iowa built a double-digit lead.
The Hawkeyes didn't get their first double-digit lead Saturday until Alexander sank the second of two free throws to give Iowa an 82-72 margin with 2:32 left to play. This time, however, Iowa's lead didn't shrink, it grew to as much as 15 as a result of an aggressive offensive attack that kept taking the ball into the paint.
Iowa shot six free throws, made one layup and made one short jumper in the final minutes to secure its 14th win of the season and even its Big Ten record at 2-2. The win was Iowa's second in its last four games against the Buckeyes, who fell to 15-2 overall and 1-2 in league play.
The two teams will play again on Jan. 24 in Columbus...and, if all goes as predicted by many during the pre-season, again in Indianapolis in early March.