Dec. 22, 2009
By Richie Zawistowski
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two days after scoring 48 second-half points, the University of Iowa women's basketball team totaled 45 during the final 20 minutes and knocked off South Dakota State, 82-69, on Tuesday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
A game-clinching 22-9 run combined with clutch play from freshman Jaime Printy helped the Hawkeyes (7-5 overall).
Printy led all scorers with 18 points, including seven straight points down the stretch. Kamille Wahlin was right behind with 17 points.
"I love the balanced scoring we had," said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. "Jaime came up big for us those last 3 1/2 minutes."
The Hawkeyes scored 29 points off 13 Jackrabbit turnovers and added 29 second-chance points.
Iowa started slowly, as the Hawkeyes turned the ball over on their first possession, and South Dakota State eventually got out to a 10-2 lead.
"I'm extremely proud of our basketball team and the way we battled in this game," said Bluder. "I thought we showed tremendous character. It was a very physical basketball game, and we kept our composure and we kept playing hard."
After the slow start, the Hawkeyes would eventually get back in the game as Printy tied the game at 18, and Wahlin later hit a 15-foot jumper to give Iowa its first lead of the game, 20-18, with 11:25 left in the half.
With 9:36 remaining, Iowa showcased superb ball movement, and the true beauty of team basketball. Everyone touched the ball on the possession, with several occurrences of teammates passing up three-point shots in order to penetrate and set their teammates up with a better shot. Trisha Nesbitt eventually slashed through the lane and found Printy under the basket for a layup to give Iowa a 24-23 lead.
Kachine Alexander displayed her defensive ability on consecutive defensive possessions as Alexander forced a jump-ball to give Iowa possession, and then stripped the opponent and recovered quickly to call a timeout with 7:30 left in the half. Alexander led Iowa with three steals, and also chipped in seven boards.
With time running down in the half, Wahlin nailed a deep trey from 26-feet out to pull Iowa within one, 37-38, going into the break.
The second half saw an extremely close battle that featured nine lead changes, with neither team seemingly able to pull away. Iowa stretched the lead to seven, 59-52, but South Dakota State was able to tie the game at 60 after a pair of 3-pointers fell with 8:31 remaining.
Printy then put on a show, and Iowa used a 22-9 run to close the game and get the victory.
The key series for Iowa was a Hawkeye offensive rebound that gave Iowa another possession. Printy put on a show in the clutch, scoring Iowa's next three baskets. With a slim 1-point lead, she nailed a huge 3-pointer to stretch the Iowa lead to 70-66, and after a missed free throw by South Dakota, and hit back-to-back tough driving layup with the shot-clock running down giving Iowa a 74-66 advantage with 1:45 remaining.
"In high school I could get to the basket easier than in college," said Printy. "But I'm getting more and more confident."
The offensive rebound that set up Printy's 3 was one of 21 offensive rebounds for Iowa, as the Hawkeyes dominated the glass holding a 46-34 rebounding advantage over South Dakota State.
Iowa locked down on defense the rest of the way and made their free-throws down the stretch to get the 13-point victory.
"We wanted to win," said UI sophomore Kelly Krei. "In order to win we had to play those last 3 1/2 minutes strong, and I think everyone came together. Jaime stepped up big with those shots, and it really came together for us."
Hawkeye freshman Theairra Taylor left the game with a knee injury in the first half and did not return. An MRI was taken after the game.
"That one we're obviously concerned about," said Bluder. "My main concern is with Theairra."
The Hawkeyes travel to Penn State on Dec. 28 to get the Big Ten season underway. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.