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Hawkeyes look to avenge 19-point smackdown against Cyclones

BY JON FRANK | DECEMBER 09, 2010 7:10 AM

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Today’s women’s basketball matchup between Iowa and Iowa State marks the first game in the series’ history in which both teams are ranked in the AP top-25.

The No. 19 Hawkeyes (8-1) will host the No. 16 Cyclones (6-1) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 7 p.m.
Last year’s meeting was anything but pleasant for head coach Lisa Bluder and her squad. An 85-66 trouncing in Hilton Coliseum set Iowa back to .500 and boosted Iowa State to 6-1.

“We did not play very well over there,” Bluder said. “A lot of teams go to Hilton and experience that. It’s a very tough place to play.

“We were a very young team — had a lot of freshmen on the floor. I’m glad we have a little more experience this year. I think this will help us deal with this rivalry a little better.”

With last season’s double-digit loss in the rearview mirror, the Hawkeyes have a shot at redemption.

It’s also a shot at making a national statement with a victory over a ranked foe.

“[I’m looking forward to this game] a lot,” said sophomore guard Jaime Printy, who led her team with 14 points in last year’s game. “That’s always in our brains from last year. How we came out there and got smoked last year. That’s definitely in our heads, but we just have to look at it like another game.”

Fortunately for Bluder’s Bunch, senior guard Kachine Alexander will start.

In 2009, the Minneapolis native was forced to sit out seven games, including the trip to Ames.

Following off-season surgery to repair a stress fracture in her right leg, Alexander has started in all nine contests.

“[Alexander] didn’t have an opportunity to play in her junior year [against Iowa State],” Bluder said. “I know she’s excited about this game and having an opportunity to finish her senior year hosting Iowa State here in Carver.”

Alexander leads the team with 87 rebounds this season, and she has averaged 14 points per game. Bluder’s Bunch will also likely rely on her defensive skills to remedy the migraine headache that ultimately sealed the Hawkeyes’ fate last season.

Kelsey Bolte accounted for a game-high 26 points in last season’s outing, going 9-of-14 from the field with eight 3-pointers.

“Kelsey Bolte went off [last year],” Printy said. “[We will put Alexander] on her [to stop her]. She’s a great defender, so, hopefully, she can shut her down.”

Alexander was one of five players named to the Big Ten All-Defensive team in 2009.

“[Alexander] brings a lot to our game,” junior forward Kelly Krei said. “She’s just a good ballplayer, and it’s always nice to have your best ballplayers on the floor.”

Ultimately, the 2009 defeat suffered at the hands of its rival is nothing more than a memory for Iowa. And adding a win to its record takes precedent over everything else.

“It’s an in-state rivalry. It’s always nice to take down the in-state,” Krei said. “But obviously, it’s just a good opportunity to play a really good team on our floor.”


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