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Doolittle, Lamar come up clutch in Game Time

BY MOLLY IRENE OLMSTEAD | JULY 03, 2012 6:30 AM

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The pressure was on, and Morgan Johnson made the shot. Her team jumped ahead, 80-79.

But then Theairra Taylor fouled Sharnae Lamar. The Northern Iowa point guard made both her foul shots and gave her team, Pellling/Culver's, an 81-80 lead with 3.6 seconds left.

For the win.

Lamar went 5-of-6 from long range but 0-of-4 from inside the arc to score 17 points. Hawkeye Bethany Doolittle went 3-of-11 in 2s and scored 11. Doolittle racked up 31 points last week.

But Lamar and Doolittle were still the standout leaders on the court, coach Joe Johnston said.

"[Doolittle] is a team leader. She and Sharnae Lamar — they run the team," Johnston said. "Everybody else is a co-star, but [Doolittle and Lamar] are the ones who have to perform, and they do. They're just so good."

Doolittle still has scabs from a moped accident on June 20. Monday night's game was only her second contest back on the court after the collision that kept her out of the Game Time's first game later that day.

"It feels great," Doolittle said. "I just had to take a little time off to get healed, but everything is fine now."

She said she injured her hip and had "a lot of scrapes an bruises" on the day of the accident. Her Iowa teammate and Game Time foe Johnson said she was shocked that Doolittle recovered so quickly.

"At first, I just kind of shrugged it off because moped accidents — you fall, all right — I didn't think it was a very big deal," Johnson said. "But then she came in and told us that the fire truck was there and the ambulance was there. I couldn't believe she was at [the Hawkeyes'] practice and ready to play after that."

But no one is surprised by Doolittle's performance on the court, especially not when she's paired with Lamar even though the two don't play together during the regular season.

Johnston said the pair "played well and kept their poise."

"We executed well today," Lamar said. "Some of our shots weren't falling, but we just ran our offense, and luckily, some started falling today."

Lamar tallied a team-leading 7 assists in the game, many of them straight to Doolittle.

"[Doolittle] is really easy to pass to," Lamar said. "She's pretty long, and she's always calling for it. I try my hardest to get the ball down to her. She's a really good player down there."

Doolittle finished her freshman season with the Hawkeyes in 2012 scoring only 3.7 points per game, playing as the second go-to center behind Johnson. But Johnson injured her knee mid-season — and is still recovering from the strain during the Game Time season and is playing only three minutes at a time — and Doolittle was able to take over from there.

She scored 11.8 points per game after Johnson went out of the picture.

The sophomore-to-be is developing a lot in the summer play, growing from a back-up center to a team leader who out-scores her mentor. Johnson scored 10 on Monday.

She's young, and the consistency will come — something she's lacking now, scoring 31 points one week and just 11 the next.

But many are expecting Doolittle to score 20-plus — or even 30-plus — again soon.

"[Doolittle] is doing a great job," Johnson said. "She's a great shooter. She didn't perform as best as she could tonight, but I think overall she's doing really, really well."


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