Huge 2nd Half Carries Hawkeyes
Feb. 13, 2011
By ADAM MEIER
EVANSTON, Ill. -- It took only eight minutes in the second half Sunday for Lisa Bluder's Hawkeyes to match their first-half scoring output of 23 points.
The University of Iowa exploded for 63 second-half points to defeat Northwestern 86-75 at Welsh-Ryan Arena, improving its record to 19-7 overall, 7-6 in Big Ten play. Northwestern now sits at 16-10, 5-8.
"Our team was just really in synch in the second half," Bluder said. "There's nothing I can really put my finger on. Everything just came together and wore Northwestern out."
Kachine Alexander led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 22 points while snagging eight rebounds. Kelly Krei had herself a game as well, knocking down 4 of 6 shots from deep and scoring 20 points. Kamille Wahlin scored 10 points and dished out nine assists and senior Kelsey Cermak came off the bench to add nine points.
With the score tied 7-7 after the first media timeout, Northwestern went on a 19-2 run over the next eight minutes. Krei's corner 3-pointer ended the long run and reduced Iowa's early deficit to 24-12 with 7:14 left in the first half.
Jamie Printy, who added 17 points, cut the Wildcat lead to single digits by making two free throws with 2:30 remaining, bringing the score to 30-21. That was all the closer Iowa got in the first period and went into the break trailing. 34-23.
Iowa then put on an impressive display of offense from the get-go in the final 20 minutes.
The energized Hawkeyes stormed out of the locker room with a 22-5 run which included three Krei 3-pointers and a breakaway layup that gave them the lead with 14 minutes left. Iowa led 49-43 with 11:50 remaining after that six-minute outburst and didn't let off the gas.
"Kelly was really struggling in this game," Bluder said. "Then she goes and hits back-to-back 3s and completely changes the outlook of the game. That's what you want in a competitor. You just keep firing and don't get down on yourself. Kelly showed a lot of character tonight."
Alexander then scored seven of Iowa's next nine points to keep the Hawkeyes in front. Printy drilled an NBA-range 3-pointer from the top of the key and Cermak put in five quick points to bring the Hawkeye lead to 66-56 with 5:26 to go.
"We just asked them to play with a little bit more energy," Bluder said. "In the first half, Northwestern had all the confidence. The second half, we turned the tables on that. When we pushed the ball we were much more effective and got better shots."
Another deep Printy long-ball provided the dagger with two minutes left, putting Iowa up by nine. The Hawkeyes went 10 of 11 from the foul line in the final 60 seconds to seal the conference road win.
Iowa shot 10 of 20 (50 percent) from 3-point range and 20 of 25 (80 percent) from the free throw line.
The win keeps the Hawkeyes tied with Purdue for fifth place in the Big Ten.
Iowa's next game is Wednesday, Feb. 16, on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena against Wisconsin. Tipoff is 7 p.m.