Dec. 22, 2011
The Hawkeyes saw a 22-point lead evaporate to one (66-65) midway through the second half before holding on for an 86-80 victory over the Devilettes, a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The win was Iowa's second straight and eighth on the year, while Mississippi Valley State fell to 2-6.
It was a tale of two halves for the Iowa offense. The Hawkeyes shot 54.5 percent (18-of-33) from the floor and made 10 3-pointers in the first half. Over the final 20 minutes, Iowa made a total of seven field goals, four of which came from long range.
"We didn't come out in the second half right away," said junior Jaime Printy. "We had another slow start. They shot the ball really well, and we didn't play very good defense. It wasn't our best game, but we're just happy to come out with the win."
The Hawkeyes finished the game with a 38.5 field goal percentage (25-of-65) and a 40 percent (14-of-35) from long range. Iowa also won the rebounding battle, 38-31, and forced 24 MVSU turnovers.
The Devilettes shot a blistering 58.9 percent (33-of-56) from the floor and 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from 3-point land for the game.
"I'm glad to come out of here with a victory tonight," said UI head coach Lisa Bluder. "We're not so happy about our defense either half. Coming into this game, they were shooting 30 percent, and they ended up shooting 59 percent against us. That's disappointing."
All five Iowa starters finished in double figures with Printy leading the way with 22 points. Freshman Samantha Logic finished with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, senior Kelly Krei had 14 points and a team high seven rebounds, senior Kamille Wahlin had 14 points and seven assists, and junior Morgan Johnson added 10 points.
After taking a 53-38 advantage into the locker room, Wahlin pushed Iowa's lead to 18 (56-38) with a triple to start the second half. MVSU then reeled off nine straight points to pull to within seven (56-49) with 17 minutes to play.
Iowa pushed its lead back to double digits (66-56) with 13:24 remaining before the Devilettes used a second 9-0 run, which ended with a Lenise Stalling 3-pointer to close the gap to 66-65. A pair of Printy free throws and a Logic 3-pointer made the cushion six points with 8:57 to play, and the Hawkeyes pushed their lead back to 12 points (80-68) at the 5:21 mark.
The Devilettes, however, wouldn't go away. MVSU used a 12-2 spurt to close to within 82-80 with 1:50 to play, but Iowa made all four of its free throws down the stretch to escape with the 86-80 victory.
Mississippi Valley State jumped out to a 4-0 lead to start the game behind two buckets by Ka'Neisha Smith before Iowa responded with 17 unanswered points to break open a 17-4 lead. The long ball fueled the Hawkeye run, as the team connected on five 3-pointers during the spurt, including two from Krei.
The Devilettes pulled to within eight points (25-17) on a pair of Alia Frank field goals at the 10 minute mark, and Iowa led by 12 (40-28) with four minutes left in the first half. The long balls kept falling for the Hawkeyes, as a Krei and Wahlin connected on triples to give Iowa a 53-31 advantage. MVSU scored the final seven points of the half to trail 53-38 at the break.
In addition to being a school record, Iowa's 14 3-pointers are tied for the most in Carver-Hawkeye Arena history. Northern Iowa made 14 triples against the Hawkeyes on Dec. 19, 2006.
"We have two wins in a row going into the Big Ten season, so that's great," said Bluder. "It would have been better had we felt better about how we played tonight, but we can't do anything about that now. We have to come back and be ready to work hard on the 27th."
The Hawkeyes have eight days off before opening Big Ten Conference play against Northwestern on Dec. 30 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m., one hour earlier than originally scheduled.