Krei, Dixon combine for 41 points in narrow Game Time win

BY BEN SCHUFF | JULY 07, 2011 7:20 AM

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Basketball games are often decided by team’s star players.

Wednesday night’s Game Time League action lived up to that billing, as Kelly Krei and Melissa Dixon did just enough to out-perform Morgan Johnson and Sharnae Lamar for a 79-73 win.

Krei and Dixon combined to go 9-of-14 from the 3-point line to lead Cullen Painting/Falbo Bros. to the victory and a 3-0 record.

Dixon, an incoming Iowa freshman from Johnsburg, Ill., hit four 3-pointers while scoring 18 of her team’s 32 first-half points. She finished with 25 points.

Krei took over in the second half when her team needed her most, and the Hawkeye forward sank all three of her 3-pointers after halftime. She scored 15 of her 21 points in the second period, helping stave off a furious comeback attempt from Pelling/Culver’s (0-3).

“They had some great shots, and we unfortunately weren’t hitting [any shots], so they had a little run,” Krei said. “Our defense held in the end, and we started making shots.”

Down by as many as 15 points in the second half, Pelling managed to climb back into the game and get within 3 points with around four minutes to go. But because the team was short-handed — only seven players showed up for the game — Johnson and Company couldn’t quite complete the comeback.

“It was definitely a little more challenging,” said Johnson, who played all but 3:28 of the second half. “I don’t like to make excuses that, if someone was here [or] if other people were here, we’d make the comeback. But we did everything we could.”

After a 32-30 halftime score, both teams had offensive outbursts after the five-minute long intermission. Both Johnson and Lamar scored 14 points in the second half, and they were instrumental in getting their team back in the game.

Lamar, who will be a freshman at Northern Iowa in the fall, set a quick pace for her squad during the comeback. The 5-0 point guard from Des Moines East pushed the ball up the court and finished with a game-high 13 assists, including 8 down the stretch.

“It was our defense and our hustle that kept us in the game,” said Lamar, who finished with 23 points. “Our plan was to keep that up and turn it up another notch in the second half, and that’s what we did. That got us open opportunities on offense.”

Johnson had plenty of chances in the first half, but her shot seemed to refuse to fall. The Iowa center missed her first five attempts and only shot 5-of-15 from the field before halftime.

The 6-5 center recovered well, though, and finished with a team-high 25 points.

Johnson and Lamar’s poor foul shooting was another area of concern in the loss. The two combined to go 4-of-12 from the free throw line.

Despite failing to scratch the win column for the third-straight week, Johnson said, her team is making strides from their previous two games.

“I’m proud of the way we ended up,” she said. “We played a lot better tonight than we have all season.”

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