3s lead Bluder’s Bunch to exhibition victory


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Former Hawkeyes Kristi Smith and Wendy Ausdemore were the only two players to sink more than 30 3-point field goals last season.

Their graduation left a question mark on Iowa’s long-distance ability during the 2009-10 season.

This year’s version of Bluder’s Bunch got its first chance to reply Sunday. Their answer?

A 12-of-19 3-point shooting performance in an 88-60 exhibition victory over Washburn in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday.

“That’s always our goal, to make [3-point shooting] one of our weapons,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said.

But Bluder won’t expect her team to shoot at a 63 percent clip from behind the arc all season.

Still, if Sunday’s shooting display was any indication, it’s a safe bet that 3-point shooting will once again be a lethal weapon for the Hawkeyes.

After Iowa missed its first six shots from the floor, Iowa sophomore guard Kamille Wahlin converted on a lay-up in the game’s fifth minute for the Hawkeyes’ first points of the game.

Wahlin drained a triple a minute later to begin the team’s long-distance barrage.

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“I think when that first [shot] goes in, you get confident — especially when they keep going in,” said Wahlin, who was 4-for-7 on 3-pointers.

Additionally, Junior Kachine Alexander, sophomores Hannah Draxten and Kelly Krei, and freshman Jaime Printy all connected on at least one 3-ball. Alexander, who recorded 25 points, was 3-for-4 on 3s — one more trey than she made all last season.

Bluder said she was happy to see her star having no problem dialing it up from distance in her first opportunity of the year.

“You’re just so happy for those kids like Kachine [Alexander], who recognized [3-point shooting] was a weakness and worked hard over the summer to make it a strength,” Bluder said.

Considering the 5-9 guard earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from the conference’s coaches last season without the aid of a perimeter shot, Hawkeye opponents could be worried.

“Last year, people started to sag off [of me],” Alexander said. “I feel now that I have that opportunity to shoot, they can’t really sag off, and if I drive, I can create things for my teammates. If they do sag, they can’t sag onto our posts, so it gives [the posts] enough room to make their moves.”

Bluder’s Hawkeyes will open up regular-season play with a KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge matchup against Santa Clara at noon on Saturday. Iowa will then play either UCLA or Illinois State at 2 p.m. on Nov. 15.

Expect Iowa to use the deep ball heavily next weekend, as well as for the rest of the season.

“We want to be able to have everybody on our team, with maybe the exception of our five, shooting 3-point shots,” Bluder said. “We feel like we are a more guard-oriented team, so we need to be able to shoot up a lot of 3s.”

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