Hawkeye women’s basketball wins big in exhibition

BY BEN ROSS | NOVEMBER 05, 2012 6:30 AM

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Even without starting guard and captain Jaime Printy, the Iowa women’s basketball team looked like a complete squad in an exhibition win 86-51 over Division-II Quincy (Ill.).

Morgan Johnson, Theairra Taylor, Sam Logic, Bethany Doolittle, and Melissa Dixon were the starting five Lisa Bluder put out on the floor, with Dixon playing in place of the injured Printy.

The senior, as it turns out, wasn’t too missed by her teammates: Dixon scored a team-high 28 points Sunday night, with 21 of those points coming from beyond the 3-point arc. Her seven 3 balls would have broken a school record for most made 3 pointers in Carver-Hawkeye Arena if the nights stats had been official. Dixon owns the record for most 3-point shots made at home with six.

“We shot the ball well. Especially Melissa had a really nice shooting night for us,” head Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.  “And it’s just fun when she gets on a roll like that; everybody feeds off of that.”

Taylor returned to the starting lineup for the first time since 2009-10, as she suffered two different ACL tears within 20 months of each other between the 2009 and 2011 seasons. The St. Paul, Minn., native tallied 7 total points as well as 3 assists in 24 minutes of play.

After the game, Taylor said she felt better before the match up against Quincy than she usually does prior to competition, citing an increased confidence level that accounted for a lack of pregame butterflies.

“It felt good. No anxiety. So no puke or … none of those things,” Taylor said and laughed. “I was really excited to be out there.  [Confidence] quadrupled basically.  I feel like I’m letting everything come to me. I’m not going to force anything, and I just feel comfortable out there.”

Eleven Hawkeyes saw the floor, including all four of Iowa’s freshmen.

Kali Peschel saw the most time of Iowa’s newcomers, spending 17 minutes on the court. The Sauk Centre, Minn., native, also tallied 7 points.

She, along with Trisha Nesbitt, led the team with 4 fouls apiece. Though some coaches may be worried to see such aggression from a rookie, Bluder said she wasn’t concerned with her foul count, noting that freshmen undergo learning periods when it comes to college penalties.

“I like to see them taking the ball whole heart,” she said.  “A lot of freshmen don’t understand the hand checking rules of college, and it takes a while to understand.”

The Hawkeyes rounded out the rest of a successful performance with 24 assists on 34 field goals. Iowa also found success in the steals department, taking 14 balls away from Quincy. Logic led the way, picking five pockets in the contest.

Iowa seemed to have the competition locked down from the opening minutes. But Johnson said she would like to see her side come out a little more intense at the tip and find more rebounds.

“That’s something we really need to take care of,” she said. “I feel like if we get those things, two things down, continue to work on that 3 offense, I feel like we’ll be a great team on Friday [in the season-opener against Northern Illinois].”

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