Iowa women outplayed, lose to UNLV
Not effective on the boards. Too many second chances. A relatively poor shooting performance.
The Iowa women's basketball team's deficiencies — both offensive and defensive — proved to be costly as the Hawkeyes lost to UNLV, 69-59, in the Hawkeye Challenge championship game on Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
UNLV outrebounded Iowa (1-1) 49-29, and the Rebels had 11 points on second-chance opportunities.
The Hawkeyes' shooting efficiency was a direct contrast to Iowa's Nov. 12 win over Harvard; head coach Lisa Bluder's squad shot 35 percent on Sunday compared with 50.8 percent the night before.
"I don't know who you're going to beat giving up 20 more rebounds to," Bluder said. "We have some work to do. It's not just the defensive end of boxing out, it's the offensive end [too] … we're kind of just watching the ball fly through the air instead of getting inside position."
Given the lack of size on the roster, Bluder said Iowa is going to need to be more fundamentally sound as the season progresses.
UNLV's Jamie Smith and Sandrine Nzeukou recorded 17 and 15 rebounds, respectively. Iowa's leading rebounder on Sunday, shooting guard Jaime Printy, pulled down 5.
"We just need to go back to fundamentals when a shot goes up," forward Kelly Krei said. "You got to find a body and box out, and clearly we did not do that tonight. It cost us."
Iowa didn't help itself out in a matchup that featured a back-and-forth pace for most of the game. The Black and Gold yielded a pair of big offensive runs by UNLV in the first half.
The Rebels (2-0) outscored the Hawkeyes 10-0 over an early five-minute stretch. A few possessions later, UNLV started a 9-0 run and led 23-10.
But Iowa rattled off 13-straight points and went into halftime up 31-30.
The Hawkeyes didn't allow any similar runs in the second half — and at one point were up by 9 — but UNLV eventually took a lead that turned out to be insurmountable. In the final two minutes, the Rebels never trailed by fewer than 5.
"When we had our lull, I thought we stayed together," UNLV head coach Kathy Olivier said. "For us to stay together when we weren't playing as well and Iowa had momentum, it says a lot about our leadership. Our seniors took care of our basketball team."
Printy led Iowa in scoring with 25 points, going 8-for-8 from the free-throw line. Point guard Kamille Wahlin, who accounted for the Hawkeyes' first 8 points of the day, posted 15.
Junior center Morgan Johnson went scoreless and was a non-factor, partially because she exited the game with an apparent leg injury early in the second half.
Printy said the Hawkeyes will need to refocus quickly following the loss. Iowa has a midweek game coming up against an American East conference foe Albany.
"We just have to learn from it," she said. "It's early in the season, and we have a lot of upperclassmen who can lead this team. We just need to learn from our mistakes and come ready to go on Wednesday."
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