Dixon Shines in 1st Career Start
Feb. 5, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Freshman Melissa Dixon shined in her first career start, scoring a career-high 19 points to lead the University of Iowa women's basketball team to an 83-64 victory over Indiana on Sunday afternoon inside Assembly Hall.
"It has been emotionally draining for us the last two days to prepare for this game without Jaime (Printy)," said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. "Coming on the road to get this victory after losing Jaime really shows a lot for the leadership of this team, especially Kamille Wahlin."
Dixon started in place of leading scorer Jaime Printy, who suffered a season-ending ACL injury Thursday at Wisconsin. Dixon finished with career highs in points (19), 3-pointers made (five), field goals (seven), steals (3) and minutes played (28).
"Melissa stepped into that role very nicely," said Bluder. "She is a freshman and this is her third Big Ten game. For her to come out and have 19 points and shoot the ball that well is amazing."
The victory was Iowa's second straight away from Iowa City and their third straight overall, as the team improves to 14-10 overall and 6-5 in the Big Ten Conference. The Hoosiers fall to 5-19 overall and 0-11 in conference play.
Overall, Iowa used a balanced scoring attack with four players finishing in double figures. Senior Kamille Wahlin led the way with 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting to go along with six assists and four rebounds. Along with Dixon, junior Morgan Johnson and senior Kelly Krei finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Hawkeyes shot 50.7 percent (34-of-67) from the field -- 70 percent (21-of-30) in the second half -- and 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from long range. Iowa had 18 assists in the game and a season-low eight turnovers. Defensively, the Hawkeyes forced 20 IU miscues, which led to a 28-4 advantage in points off of turnovers.
After leading 35-31 at the break, the Hawkeyes dominated the second half, outscoring Indiana, 48-34. Johnson scored Iowa's first eight points, but IU's Sasha Chaplin kept pace, netting six of the Hoosiers' first eight points. With the score 43-39, the Hawkeyes used a 6-0 run to extend their lead to double digits (49-39) with 15:11 to play.
Indiana's Kristiana Stauere connected on a 3-pointer at the 14:50 mark to cut the deficit to 52-44, but the Hawkeyes followed with a 10-2 run to break the game open. Dixon opened the spurt with a long ball -- her fourth of the game -- and fellow freshman Bethany Doolittle's jumper at the 7:55 mark gave Iowa the 62-46 lead.
The Hawkeyes then pushed their lead to a game-high 21 points twice in the final six minutes.
Indiana made 22-of-63 field goal attempts (34.9 percent) and 2-of-14 (14.3 percent) from long range for the game. The Hoosiers won the rebounding battle, 49-30, with 21 on the offensive glass, but only outscored Iowa, 16-7, in second chance points.
Dixon started quickly; scoring 11 points over the first seven and a half minutes, helping Iowa grab a 17-10 advantage. The Hoosiers then scored 6-of-7 points to pull to within three (23-20) before the Hawkeyes pushed their lead to 27-20 at the 4:24 mark.
Indiana trimmed its deficit to a single point (27-26) with 2:51 left in the first half, but Wahlin scored six of Iowa's final eight points, as the Hawkeyes took a 35-31 lead into the locker room.
Iowa returns to action Thursday night, hosting Minnesota inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena beginning at 7 p.m. (CT).