Iowa women’s basketball thrashes Indiana to finish regular season


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Despite being down by as many as 8 points in the first half and holding only a slim lead at halftime, the Iowa women’s basketball team pulled away in the second half over Indiana on Sunday.

The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers with a vengeance in Bloomington, Ind., 93-79, relying on the dribble drive and drawing fouls to maintain the advantage.

Iowa (22-7, 10-6) secures a first-round bye in the conference tournament with the win, which will begin with opening-round games on Thursday in Indianapolis. The Hawkeyes will play Ohio State in the second round on Friday in Conseco Field House in a matchup of the fourth and fifth seeds. The Buckeyes thrashed Wisconsin on Sunday, 80-47.

After the Hawks’ victory, head coach Lisa Bluder attributed it to the Hawkeyes’ tremendous offensive success. Jaime Printy paced the team with 28 points on 8-of-11 shooting, and Kachine Alexander recorded her 33rd double-double of her career with 27 points and 10 rebounds.

“It was a fun offensive feel out there,” Bluder said in a postgame radio interview. “I think our team really clicked. That’s exactly how you want your team to feel about your offense going into the Big Ten Tournament.”

Iowa attacked the basket all game, resulting in a season-high 32 free-throw attempts. The Hawkeyes made 26 of those shots, good enough for a 81.3 percentage from the charity stripe.

Printy led the Hawkeyes in that category as well. The sophomore went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line, setting a program record for free-throw percentage in a single game. The record constitutes a minimum of 10 attempts.

“That’s our style of play; we go hard to the basket,” Bluder said. “We want to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line, because we are so good there. We attacked very, very strongly tonight.”

Iowa’s 93 points are the most against a Big Ten opponent since the 2007 season. Sunday was also the third 90-point performance by the Hawkeyes this year.

“You can’t give an Iowa team 93 points,” Indiana head coach Felisha Legette-Jack said. “The ball didn’t fall our way. Around that seven-minute mark, we tanked out a little bit. We’re going to have to continue to learn how to compete for a longer stretch.”

For Iowa, the regular season has come to an end, but it is guaranteed at least one more game — its matchup with Ohio State.

Associate head coach Jan Jensen, reflecting on the team’s season after the win against the Hoosiers, pointed out how successful the squad has been without the services of Trisha Nesbitt for almost three-quarters of the year and Hannah Draxten missing five games.

“To have 22 wins and only seven losses after overcoming not having Trisha most of the year and not utilizing Hannah like we want,” she said. “We couldn’t be more proud of these kids.”

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