Women hoopsters stop Spartans


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Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder wasn’t invited to any Super Bowl parties.

But after a 77-66 win victory by the Hawkeyes (12-11, 5-7 Big Ten) over Michigan State (15-8, 6-6) on Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the 10th-year head coach had other reasons to celebrate.

The biggest one? Balance: Five Hawkeyes scored in double figures.

Junior Kachine Alexander led the way, posting a game-high 23 points. Also scoring double digits for Iowa were sophomores Kelly Krei (14) and Kamille Wahlin (14), in addition to freshmen Jaime Printy (11) and Morgan Johnson (10).

Sunday was the ninth time four or more players have scored in double figures this season. Iowa is 9-0 in those games.

“I love the fact that we are so hard to guard,” Bluder said. “We have so many offensive weapons on the floor.

“I also think it just shows the confidence that we have in all of our players as far as their ability to score.”

Bluder’s Bunch went into halftime with a 30-29 advantage despite being essentially without Printy — the team’s leading scorer on the season at 15.1 points per game — able to contribute offensively.

The 5-11 guard only played 11 minutes in the first half after picking up two charging fouls in the game’s first 6:05. She appeared to be out of rhythm and was unable to net any points prior to the break.

But Printy’s play in the second half was a different story.

All 11 of her points came in the first 9:46 of the second frame, sparking Iowa to a 55-43 edge with 10:14 remaining. Bluder said Printy’s performance “just shows you what she’s capable of doing in a short period of time.”

Numerous fouls by Michigan State put Iowa in the single bonus just 7:21 into the second half.

From there, free-throw shooting propelled Iowa to its fourth Big Ten win in five games. Alexander went 12-of-14 from the charity stripe, and the Hawkeyes shot 87 percent from the line as a team.

Despite going up against a good sized Spartan team that boasts the nation’s tallest player in 6-9 Allyssa DeHaan, the 5-9 Alexander also collected a game-high 10 rebounds to earn her 10th double-double of the season.

“I think Coach Bluder kind of made it real clear to me this summer that [rebounding] was going to be my job,” Alexander said. “That anything under 10 rebounds is not acceptable. I really love to rebound, so for me, anything under 10 is kind of unacceptable. So I take that to heart.”

Johnson, who went head-to-head with DeHaan, did more than hold her own for Iowa. DeHaan was limited to 13 points on just 5-of-15 shooting. Johnson was a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor in the first half.

“Nothing intimidates [Morgan],” Bluder said. “As a freshman, you’re always worried about that. That they’re going to be intimidated by a hostile environment or by a certain opponent because you respect them so much.”

Iowa was without its starting point guard, Wahlin, for the game’s final 7:14. The Crookston, Minn., native left the action after her head was stepped on following a collision. Bluder said she suffered a concussion; medical officials will monitor her condition.

Freshman Trisha Nesbitt played 21 minutes in relief of Wahlin, posting five points.

The Hawkeyes will head to Bloomington, Ind., to face Indiana (13-10, 6-6 Big Ten) at 6 p.m. Thursday.

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