Iowa's backcourt leads team past pesky Badgers


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The Iowa women's basketball team headed into Thursday's game against Wisconsin needing a win to keep its NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

The Hawkeyes and Badgers traded offensive runs in an up-and-down first half. Iowa mounted a 9-0 spurt early in the half, then the Badgers scored 13 unanswered points as part of a 19-3 run.

The Hawkeyes closed the half on a 6-0 run to come within a single point at halftime. Junior guard Jaime Printy and senior guard Kamille Wahlin paced the squad with 9 and 5 points, respectively, after the first 20 minutes.

"Both teams just got hot at different times," Printy said. "They went on a good run in the first half, but we were able to stay composed. Both teams shot the ball really well at certain times of the game."

The pair of Hawkeyes turned in an even better second half. Printy dueled fellow Marion native Morgan Paige while scoring 25 points to lead Iowa; Paige scored 20 points to lead the Badgers.

Printy shot 7-of-14 from the floor, and 9-of-9 at the free-throw line, as she moved into 10th place on Iowa's all-time scoring list. The junior now has 1,364 career points.

"They've played together for so long now, three years playing together," head coach Lisa Bluder said about her backcourt pair after the victory. "They really enjoy playing together, you can tell that.

They feed off of each other. When they're going to cut, they look for each other."

Wahlin averaged 9.5 points during the nonconference season, but has seen her offensive production rise during Big Ten play. The Crookston, Minn., native is averaging almost 14 points per game in the past six contests.

Thursday night was no different, as Wahlin ended the game with 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting and 6-of-6 at the charity stripe.

"I'm looking to be a little more aggressive, looking a little bit more on my shots instead of being passive," Wahlin said. "I was passive earlier in the season, and now I'm just letting things happen and taking what's there."

The backcourt partners scored 40 of Iowa's 69 total points, while shooting 50 percent on field goals and 100 percent on free throws. Iowa as a team was a perfect 16-of-16 at the charity, tying a school record.

Printy and Wahlin took over after an Iowa time-out with 10:32 remaining in the second half and the score tied at 47.

The duo scored 12 of the team's final 17 points in that 10-minute stretch as the Hawkeyes took control of a game they needed to win. Those 12 points that stifled the Badgers all came on high-percentage shots, either from lay-ups or from the free-throw line.

"It's important for us to definitely get wins here," Wahlin said. "Every year, the goal is to get into that NCAA Tournament. We've let a few opportunities slip away — we've put ourselves in this position — but we've been here before. We just need to handle it, and take one game at a time, and kind of get ourselves back in it."

Follow DI women's basketball reporter Ben Wolfson on Twitter.

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