Wahlin questionable for Thursday


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The Iowa women’s basketball team (12-11, 5-7) claimed its fourth win in five games with a 77-66 win over Michigan State (15-8, 6-6) on Sunday, but the victory was not without bad news.

Sophomore starting point guard Kamille Wahlin left the contest with 7:40 remaining after suffering a concussion. Her status is in doubt for the Hawkeyes’ game at Indiana (13-10, 6-6) Thursday night.
Wahlin successfully drew a charge against Michigan State’s Lykendra Johnson but paid a price.

Johnson tripped over the 5-8 guard and stepped on her head, causing it to slam into the hardwood.

During her Tuesday press conference in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said she had seen the footage and “didn’t think it was anything intentional by any means.”

Wahlin, who is sporting a heavily bruised left eye, is still suffering concussion-like symptoms. She must be symptom-free for 24 hours before her playing status can be tested.

Freshman Trisha Nesbitt will step into the starting lineup if Wahlin isn’t able to play on Thursday.

However, Bluder expects Wahlin will travel with the team to Bloomington regardless of her status.

“I think she’d want to be there with her team in that situation,” the coach said. “I think she can help even if she’s on the bench, just talking through situations with Trisha and helping her out.”

Bluder feels Alexander is back to pre-injury form

Bluder has noticed a recent difference in junior Kachine Alexander’s play. Alexander returned to action against Drake on Dec. 20, 2009, after being sidelined for a month with a stress-fracture in her right leg.

Through the first three games of the season and prior to her injury, the 5-9 Alexander averaged 21.0 points and 15.7 rebounds per game.

Alexander appears to be playing near that same level once again. The Minneapolis native has averaged 19.7 points and 10.0 rebounds across Iowa’s last three contests.

“I think she’s playing like she’s forgetting about the leg,” Bluder said. “I think for a while she kept worrying about, ‘Is it going to come back?’ And she was really nervous about any pain that happened in her leg.”

The starting point guard has returned, though, “a little more offensive-minded than she was last year,” Bluder said.

Valentine’s Day marks last Sunday home contest

Iowa’s Feb. 14 game against Illinois in Carver-Hawkeye is the team’s last Sunday home game of the season. In addition to being “Go Red For Women Day,” which encourages and celebrates heart health among women, Sunday is also National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

Bluder said other Iowa women’s athletics teams will be recognized at halftime, and young fans wearing a jersey will receive free admission.

“Hopefully, we’ll have a lot of aspiring athletes in the crowd,” Bluder said. “And [hopefully we’ll] have a good home-court advantage for our last Sunday game.”

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