Alexander performs well, but short of her potential

BY JON FRANK | NOVEMBER 08, 2010 7:20 AM

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Kachine Alexander averaged a double-double last year, but her double-double against Concordia-St. Paul was short of the impact a 100 percent healthy Alexander could have made.

Dragged down by an off-season surgery to repair a stress fracture in her right leg and a minor ankle injury sustained during practice, she has been focused on nursing her injuries in aspirations of returning to the Alexander of last year, the Alexander who claimed the Big Ten rebounding title and was named All-Big Ten.

Quiet in the first half, the senior guard spent the majority of her time on the court as a facilitator on the perimeter — refraining from the lightning-quick and powerful lane charges that put her on the Wooden Award watch list.

While teammates sophomore Morgan Johnson and junior Kelly Krei accounted for a combined 29 points — the majority of Iowa's first half production — Alexander didn't score until a trip to the free-throw line with six minutes left in the first half. She finished the period with four points, all of which came from free throws.

"I would probably say [I am] like 75, 80 percent. But I'm getting there," she said.

But she showed stints of athletic brilliance in the second half.

In the later stage of the game, she bolted down through the opposition for a lay-up and drew a hard foul from her defender. Following the hard-nosed contact, characteristic of the 5-9 guard, she shot to her feet and clenched her fist in excitement.

"I don't really know any other speed," she said. "I just go as I can, as much as like my body will let me … I keep pushing and keep being consistent."

Alexander capped off the game by rebounding a free throw that she missed — her 13th rebound of the outing.

Although she only scored 11 points, her selfless play helped teammates find open shots and kept turnovers to a minimum.

"Almost five people in double figures. We shot the ball well in all categories," head coach Lisa Bluder said. "We took care of the basketball. We did a good job on the boards, both offensively and defensively."

Alexander contributed four assists to the team's total of 27. Although down in production, her selflessness in 32 minutes on the court helped others thrive.

"My teammates have just really — like I said earlier, made me a lot more confident," said Johnson, who scored 20 points. "I have a lot more confidence in myself, in being a scoring threat and making people double in on me so I have more looks on the outside to give it back out to my guards."

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