Hawkeyes advance to WNIT final round with OT win
The Iowa women’s basketball team advanced to the finals of the Preseason WNIT Wednesday night with a 69-63 overtime win over Middle Tennessee State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday.
It wasn’t looking good at the end of the game for Iowa: The Blue Raiders held the lead over the Hawkeyes for the final minute and 30 seconds of the game, until Jaime Printy was handed the ball by Sam Logic 4 feet beyond the 3-point line.
Printy, with her left leg wrapped in a brace, put up her best shot and tied the game at 59-59 with 1.6 seconds remaining.
“I just let it fly. It actually felt really good when it left my hands,” Printy said. “It was a good feeling.”
With the win, Iowa will play host to North Carolina in the final matchup of the preseason WNIT on Nov. 18 at 3 p.m.
The Hawkeyes started the contest slowly. It was hard for either team to gain momentum, and the first half included 12 lead changes. The entire contest hand 17 total lead changes.
It was a tale of three players for the Blue Raiders. Ebony Rowe, Icelyn Elie, and Kortni Jones accounted for 48 of Middle Tennessee’s 63 points. Scoring distribution wasn’t any better for Iowa, though — Printy’s 26 points off the bench and Morgan Johnson’s 20 points accounted for more than half of Iowa’s scoring.
The Hawkeyes had 22 assists on 30 made shots, a stat Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said not to overlook. It makes sense seeing as how Middle Tennessee State had 9 assists on its 29 made baskets.
“We stress getting the high-percentage shot,” Bluder said. “We think that comes through having assists, distributing the ball, open shooter. So I think that’s the difference.”
The Hawkeyes didn’t give Middle Tennessee any chances to regain the upper hand in overtime. Iowa secured a 63-61 lead two minutes in and didn’t allow its opponent to get comfortable in a hostile environment. Printy sealed the overtime, too, sinking two free throws to give Iowa an 8-point lead with fewer than 30 seconds left on the clock.
Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Insell said he knew his squad was going up against strong team in Iowa. He thought his players were going to get away with a win in Iowa City, but a lapse in defensive judgment allowed the game to reach overtime.
“We knew they were going to get Printy to shoot the basketball [on the final play of regulation],” Insell said. “We forgot to step out. If we had stepped out, a 2 [point shot] wouldn’t have beaten us …
We could have got the ball, shot free throws, and won the ball game. We lost a little bit of our basketball IQ right there.”
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