Jan. 27, 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan, take a seat beside West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas, Ohio State, and Purdue. On Sunday, you became the sixth rated team this season to succumb to the University of Iowa women's basketball team.
Late production by sophomore Bethany Doolittle highlighted a comeback for the Hawkeyes during a 63-57 victory in front of 2,607 in Crisler Arena. It is the second loss in the Big Ten Conference for the Wolverines, who entered the game rated No. 23 in the nation.
Iowa won its third game in a row and improves to 16-5 overall, 5-2 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have won 2-of-3 league games on the road this season. Michigan is 16-4, 5-2.
"It was defense and it was composure," Bluder said, pointing to the fact Michigan's lone field goal in the final seven minutes came with 10 seconds to play. "It gives us a Big Ten road win and Big Ten road wins are hard to come by, another top 25 win for us, and it gives us good momentum playing at Illinois on Thursday night."
Doolittle scored a team-high and career-high 19 points of 9-of-15 shooting from the field and 1-of-1 from the line. She had four rebounds. Doolittle scored five field goals in a span from the 7:26 mark of the second half until 1:45 remained. She also sprinkled in several big offensive rebounds during that stretch.
Iowa shot 46 percent from the field (23-of-50) and made 12-of-14 free throws. UI senior Jaime Printy added 14 points with five rebounds. She was 4-of-4 from the free throw line. Sophomore Samantha Logic scored 10 points with eight assists and six rebounds. Senior center Morgan Johnson pulled down a team-high seven rebounds to go with six points.
Michigan led 27-17 at the 4:51 mark of the first half; Iowa didn't lead until Melissa Dixon drained a jump shot with 12:11 remaining to put the Hawkeyes up, 42-41. Iowa made better than 60 percent of its field goals in the second half (14-of-23).
"Sam had two good steals that led to high-percentage layups, she had an unbelievable pass to Morgan, Jaime hit a big 3 for us from the corner," Bluder said. "It's funny because I really didn't even realize we were shooting that well percentage-wise. Bethany got some big offensive rebounds for us at the end of the game that we brought the ball back out, we had good clock management in this game, it was great defensive effort in this game and smart basketball, very focused basketball, especially in the second half."
Jenny Ryan of Michigan led all scorers with 20 points. Wolverine center Rachel Sheffer, who scored a game-high 26 points during a 68-64 win in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Jan. 6, was held scoreless Sunday on 0-of-7 shooting from the field.
"Bethany Doolittle really did a great job against Rachel Sheffer today," Bluder said.
"The environment was intense," Doolittle said. "We came here last year and were able to beat them and we wanted revenge for the loss earlier in the season against them. I took that energy and put it into my game."
Iowa remains of the road Thursday to play at Illinois with a 7 p.m. (CT) tip. The Illini are 10-8, 3-3 this season.
"We're playing very well right now and we have a lot of good weapons," Bluder said. "Melissa Dixon only had four points today, but she came in and played very well for us defensively in this game. I like the way our focus was today, our intensity was today, and I think we will take good focus to Illinois Thursday. We're going to need it."