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Women’s basketball falls to Kansas

BY JORDAN GARRETSON | NOVEMBER 19, 2009 7:21 AM

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Kachine Alexander scored 23 points and corralled 17 rebounds in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Wednesday Night, posting her third double-double of the season in as many games.

But it wasn’t enough.

The Iowa women’s basketball team (2-1) fell to No. 19 Kansas (2-0), 66-55. The loss marks the second-straight year the Jayhawks have handed the Hawkeyes their first defeat.

Although the game finished with an 11-point differential on the scoreboard, the battle waged on the hardwood was much closer.

At the game’s beginning, it appeared the Hawkeyes’ bevy of injuries had finally become too much for Iowa to overcome. Injured freshmen Gabby Machado and Theairra Taylor, sophomore Hannah Draxten, and senior JoAnn Hamlin looked on from the bench as their teammates fell into an 11-0 hole during the game’s first four minutes.

A 13-2 Hawkeye run, which included eight points from Alexander, swiftly showed the Jayhawks they were in for a much tougher contest than the 76-55 shellacking Iowa received a year ago in Lawrence, Kan.

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder was satisfied with her team entering the halftime break, as the Hawkeyes trailed, 27-26, thanks to a 12-point, eight-rebound effort from Alexander.

“[Alexander] just has a nose for the ball,” Bluder said of the 5-9 junior. “I think she just has a real passion for [rebounding]. She’s found a way to contribute that is extraordinary. I’m really proud of how hard she continues to work for us on the floor.”

That performance, coupled with a 2-3 zone look that helped hold Kansas’ Danielle McCray to just five points on a 2-for-11 shooting effort, had the Jayhawks ripe for an upset entering the second half.
Alexander’s spectacular play didn’t come to an end then, but McCray’s struggles did.

McCray, the Big 12’s preseason Player of the Year, exploded for 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field in the second half.

“She’s as good and as talented as a player as we’ll see throughout the year,” Bluder said. “The second half, it’s hard to keep a player like that down. Good players like that can find their way out of a shooting slump.”

Iowa wrestled its way to a 54-51 advantage following a jumper from freshman Morgan Johnson with 6:41 remaining in the contest.

From there, the Jayhawks forged an 11-0 run of their own that ultimately proved to be Iowa’s downfall.

The energy exhausted by the Hawkeyes at the start of the game didn’t re-enter the tank during crunch time, though.

“When you’re down in a hole, it always takes more energy to get back in it,” Alexander said.

Bluder’s bunch will have three days to prepare for its next game — the squad’s first road contest of the season. Iowa will play at Northern Iowa on Nov. 22, with tip-off in Cedar Falls slated for 3 p.m.

“I think this is a good growing experience for our team,” Bluder said. “We had a lot of mental errors in the last six minutes. I felt like maybe we lost our focus a little bit. Yeah, I think that’s going to happen a little bit with young teams, but again, that’s what we have, and we can’t use that as an excuse. We have to grow up real fast.”


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