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Women’s basketball routs Indiana

BY JORDAN GARRETSON | FEBRUARY 26, 2010 7:30 AM

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Poor long-range shooting and zero free-throw attempts in the game’s first 25:30 would have spelled certain doom for the Iowa women’s basketball team earlier in the season.

But the Hawkeyes (16-12, 9-8) have come a long way.

Iowa displayed its continuing maturation in a 76-64 victory over Indiana (13-15, 6-11) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night. Knowing their NCAA Tournament bubble would likely burst with a loss, the Hawkeyes overcame 16 turnovers and an uncharacteristic 28 percent 3-point shooting clip to win its sixth-straight home game.

The key, once again, was balance.

Junior Kachine Alexander and sophomore Kamille Wahlin only combined for 17 points, but the offensive depth Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder strives for showed up in bunches.

Freshman center Morgan Johnson tied a career-high with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Sophomore Kelly Krei drained 14 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds to notch her first career double-double.

Alexander couldn’t compliment the progression of her younger teammates enough.

“I think this team has grown tremendously, from even the beginning of the Big Ten season to where we are now,” she said. “I’m really proud of our freshmen.”

Krei and Johnson were two of the four Hawkeyes to score in double figures, which Bluder said was “tremendous to see.”

Wahlin added 10, and freshman Jaime Printy totaled 17. Printy’s lay-up with 7:07 remaining in the first half made her Iowa’s highest scoring freshman of all time with 428 points. Lisa Becker held the old mark of 416 points.

“I honestly didn’t have any idea I was close,” she said. “I mean, it’s a great honor to have, but I just want to keep on winning these games.”

Despite scoring seven points on two-of-seven shooting from the field, Alexander once again found other ways to dominate the game. The Minneapolis native recorded 15 rebounds and eight assists — two assists and three points shy of her third career triple-double.

Without having a dominant scoring performance, “Kach” was still at the heart of the Hawkeye attack. And with the Hawkeyes heading to Madison to face Wisconsin for their final game of the regular season on Feb. 28 — Alexander’s birthday — she has just one birthday present in mind: a victory, which would put Iowa as the No. 3 seed in next week’s Big Ten Tournament.

“I’m so excited,” Alexander said. “This is what we play for. This type of opportunity right here. It’s in our hands. We can take it, or we can not. And I think we will.”

The looming opportunity seems astonishing considering Iowa’s 1-6 start in the Big Ten.

“If you said that six weeks ago, people would have laughed at you,” Bluder said. “… Before practice, we’ll lay it all out for [the players]. I think we have everything to be optimistic about.”


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