Iowa women’s basketball to host Preseason WNIT Championship Sunday

BY DI STAFF | NOVEMBER 16, 2012 6:30 AM

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The Iowa women’s basketball team’s goal was to make the WNIT finals.

Now that they’re there, they want to win it.

“We’re excited for Sunday,” senior Jaime Printy said after Wednesday night’s 69-63 semifinal win over Middle Tennessee State.

The Hawkeyes have strung together three-consecutive home victories to earn a berth in the WNIT championship game. They’ll play North Carolina, which has also downed their previous three opponents to reach the Nov. 18 final.

Iowa is riding the hot hand of Printy into the game against the Tar Heels. The senior paced all scorers against Middle Tennessee with 26, including a crucial 3-point shot with 1.6 remaining on the clock to force overtime. Printy then scored 8 of Iowa’s next 10 points to secure the 6-point victory.

“We’re thrilled to have this opportunity to host North Carolina,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said after Wednesday night’s victory. “[They’re] another very quality women’s basketball program. It should be a great environment, and we’re excited and ready to go.”

North Carolina has won its previous three games by an average of 10 points per contest. The Tar Heels are 9-1 all-time in the Preseason WNIT, and they won the 2008 Preseason WNIT title, defeating then-No. 2 Oklahoma in the process. They beat No. 25 Georgetown in the semifinals, 63-48, on their way to Iowa City.

The good news for Iowa is that it’ll host its fourth-straight tournament game. Senior Morgan Johnson said that alone has been important to her team and helped to give the Hawkeyes confidence.

“This next game is really important,” Johnson said. “We’re really thrilled that we get to have it at home.”

— by Cody Goodwin

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