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Game Time: Doolittle misses first game

BY MOLLY IRENE OLMSTEAD | JUNE 21, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa women's basketball team held a scrimmage Wednesday morning.

Bethany Doolittle was late.

The rest of the team noticed her absence, but then heard the news that she'd been in an accident.

Doolittle was driving her moped to the practice when a car turned into her and struck her vehicle.

She was thrown onto the street.

"I was driving behind her," said Doolittle's roommate and teammate Melissa Dixon. "It was really scary at first. The other car was blocking the lane, and then I saw her standing there. And then I saw her moped on the ground all crashed and its pieces everywhere."

An ambulance and fire truck appeared on the scene, but the Hawkeye didn't make the trip to the hospital.

She's OK — just a stiff hip and "a lot of scrapes and bruises — but the second-overall Game Time draft pick had to sit out the season-opener on Wednesday night.

Doolittle's decision to sit out the first contest of the Game Time season came down to valuing her overall health over just one game. The center is optimistic that she'll be able to return to the court next week.

"It was disappointing," Doolittle said. "I'd rather be out there helping my team out. But I know I'll be better by next week and I'll just come ready to play then."

Missing the first game might affect the rest of the season, however. Many of the Game Time players have never played on a team together before — each team is only allowed to field two Iowa and two Northern Iowa players.

The league's opener is the beginning of team bonding that will remain the entire season.

"The first day when you're playing with a new team and you don't know anyone and haven't played with anyone, it's important to have that first game set everything up for the succeeding ones," Sam Logic said. "Just getting your offensive flow and seeing what everyone likes to do, what they're best at."

Doolittle's team, Pelling/Culver's, coached by Joe Johnston, lost its first game of the season, 86-55, to Vinton/McCurry's.

But teammate Sharnae Lamar helped make up for the center's absence, leading Johnston's team on offense.

Lamar scored 21 points on the game, including shooting 3-for-7 from 3-point range. The Northern Iowa guard only scored six points in the first half, but easily doubled that in the second, totaling 15 after halftime.

MacKenzie Reed of Coe College followed Lamar in scoring, tallying 10 points, but only shooting 2-of-12.

Doolittle wasn't be the only Game Time player missing the first game, however. Both Morgan Johnson and Theirra Taylor, drafted to head coach Randy Larson's team, had to miss the first week as they recover from injuries.

Johnson injured her knees during the Hawkeye season and Taylor is still regaining her strength after her third ACL tear.

Doolittle is expected to make an impact on Johnston's team after her return. The sophomore-to-be averaged 11.8 points per game for Iowa last season, getting an increased amount of playing time due to Johnston's injury. Doolittle also scored the second-most blocks for the Hawkeyes in 2011-12, behind Johnson.


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