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Women's hoops wins against Iowa State

BY MATT COZZI | DECEMBER 10, 2010 7:10 AM

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Kachine Alexander's hard drive to the basket nearly five minutes into the second half — which resulted in a two-point field goal — changed everything.

Alexander extended the Hawkeyes' lead to 10 points, and No. 19 Iowa never looked back, as it routed 16th-ranked Iowa State, 62-40, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night.

Following Alexander's early second-half field goal, Iowa (9-1) outscored the Cyclones (6-2), 25-13, to finish the game.

But no matter the outcome of the game, or even the several momentum changing baskets the Hawkeyes made, head coach Lisa Bluder's squad simply outplayed their in-state opponent.

At Bluder's weekly press conference on Wednesday, the 11-year Hawkeye head coach said an inside post presence was going to be a key for her squad to win.

Not only did Iowa trounce Iowa State in the post, it dominated. Iowa outscored the Cyclones 34-8 inside. Morgan Johnson was a big reason for that, leading the Hawkeyes with 16 points. The sophomore center had her third double-double of the season, as she also had 10 rebounds.

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly praised the Hawkeyes after the game, acknowledging that the Cyclones' ability to get points in the post was not comparable with Iowa's.

"We got our butt kicked in the post," Fennelly said.

Johnson said her continual work with Iowa assistant coach Jan Jensen has helped her throughout the course of the season.

"I was trying to incorporate a couple moves that we worked on in practice," Johnson said. "Once the jump stop worked, we [continued] to do that again."

In addition to Johnson, Alexander and junior Kelly Krei also finished in double figures for points, with 13 and 16, respectively. Although Jaime Printy's scoring production was lower than usual (five points), the sophomore's nine assists proved to be a big factor.

A large reason for the substantial deficit was because of Iowa's lockdown defense in the second half.
Iowa State's leading scorer, Kelsey Bolte, was held to eight points.

"Her shot is so quick," said Alexander, who guarded Bolte for virtually the entire game. "You give her any room, and it's going in. Just getting her out of those screens, and my teammates were always there to help me out."

For the Hawkeyes, they emerge with two wins among a much-hyped three-game stretch. Despite losing to North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, the Hawkeyes came back to defeat Big 12 opponent Kansas State and won handily Thursday night before an announced crowd of 6,364.

Although the matchup was a rivalry game, the victory against a ranked opponent will likely pay big dividends when the regular season comes to a close. Bluder reinforced that point after the Hawkeyes' 22-point thrashing of the Cyclones.

"Not only is it the whole Iowa-Iowa State thing, but also add onto it that they were ranked ahead in the polls, and that we [won] so convincingly," Bluder said. "I think it's a signature win for us in the fact it's the 15th-ranked team [ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll] in the country. Getting that, I think it will make an impact on the [NCAA] selection Committee."


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