Good bench play aids Iowa women's thrashing of Bradley


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Hannah Draxten was questionable heading into Tuesday night's game against Bradley, but after the final buzzer, there was no question about what kind of an effect she had had.

Draxten, who had recurring back pain on Nov. 13 at the Islander Tip-Off Tournament, came off the bench against the Braves and immediately provided a spark. The redshirt sophomore finished with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting, and the Iowa women's basketball team overpowered Bradley, 91-53, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

In the team's first two contests last weekend, Draxten tallied just one point.

"I had a little more confidence [tonight]," the Fergus Falls, Minn., native said. "I shot the ball a little better, and I think I'm getting into the groove of things again."

Most of the Hawkeyes' points — a season-high — were fueled by the transition offense, and Iowa took advantage of turnovers and their own fastbreak opportunities.

The Hawkeyes scored 35 points off turnovers, and nearly every basket in the second half seemed to be in transition.

Junior guard Kamille Wahlin led most of those breaks and posted 17 points to go along with her five assists and three steals. As a team, the Hawkeyes tallied 22 assists and 17 steals.

"As soon as we see our teammates get the board or get the steal, we're sending two people up the sideline and just looking for each other," Wahlin said. "That's our mindset this year, is to push it. So we're all thinking just get it and go."

In addition to Draxten, freshman Jade Rogers was also uncertain for the game. Rogers didn't make her regular-season début last weekend because of an ankle injury, but that didn't prove to be too big of a setback for the team's youngest player. The Cedar Rapids native scored two points and recorded three rebounds in eight minutes.

While Iowa seemed to find its niche on offense Tuesday, the defense proved to be significant, too. Bradley shot a lowly 33 percent from the field and gave up 25 turnovers.

Opponents are averaging just 51 points through the Hawkeyes' first three contests.

"I thought we got out in the passing lanes and disrupted the flow of their offense," head coach Lisa Bluder said. "[The Braves] got frustrated that they couldn't pass the ball where they wanted to. I thought our communication was good on the floor, and we did a good job on screens to not let them have that easy pass."

Even with the Hawkeyes' ability to manufacture easy points off of Bradley's struggles, the offense was still lethal and provided numerous momentum shifts throughout the game. Iowa had two 6-0 runs and one 7-0 run.

Senior Kachine Alexander posted yet another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and sophomore Jaime Printy led all scorers with 21 points. Iowa had five players in double figures.

For Bluder, she was equally impressed with her bench's contributions as she was with her five starters. The bench produced 22 points, and Draxten led all reserves in scoring.

"[It's nice] to have that depth with a quality player coming off the bench," Bluder said. "It makes our players play harder because they know they have somebody good coming in to spell them, and it gives me a lot of confidence, too."

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