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Iowa's Johnson still seeking first win against Cornhuskers

BY MATT CABEL | FEBRUARY 12, 2013 5:00 AM

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Morgan Johnson has a chip on her shoulder.

In a career that will end in Iowa women’s basketball history, she has yet to do one thing: earn her team a win against Nebraska. 

From the tipoff, it was clear she wanted that to change. 

Her effort, however, a 19-point, 10-rebound outing, was not enough. Despite a furious second half rally, Johnson’s team fell short in a 76-75 loss Monday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 

Johnson was hot in the first half, scoring 14 of the Hawkeyes’ 32 first-half points. The center dominated the paint, making her first five field-goal attempts. 

“We definitely wanted to get the ball in her hands,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “She was shooting the ball well tonight.” 

Johnson’s outing gave her an eighth double-double this season and 20th of her career. Her 19 points came on 9-of-11 shooting, and 7 of the senior’s 10 boards came on the offensive glass. 

The accomplishment, however, will always come with the memory of a bitter loss to a rival team. 
“I don’t really think about [stats],” Johnson said. “It’s kind of bitter at this point. As a senior, it doesn’t matter about those stats; it just matters about the team.”

The senior was pivotal in the Hawkeye’s second half rally. She scored 6 of the team’s first 8 points in the second half and assisted teammate Theairra Taylor for the other pair. Her offensive rebounds were crucial down the stretch. 

“Morgan’s an awesome teammate,” senior Jaime Printy said. “She brings so much energy to our team. She’s big and goofy, and she doesn’t care. She brings so much energy every day to practice and works so hard every single day in every drill. I think it rubs off on everyone else — everyone else wants to work hard because Morgan works hard.”

As one of the team’s four seniors, Johnson knows what her team needs to do to close out the season and earn her a bid to the NCAA Tournament: win. 

She still believes her team is more than capable of winning games. 

“Staying together as a team is hard whenever you get down this far,” Johnson said. “Understanding that we’re a team that is more than capable, and that we can come back, and that we are a good team, and just believing in that.” 

Luckily, Johnson and the Hawkeyes will have another chance to earn a win against the Cornhuskers when they travel to Nebraska for a Feb. 24 rematch. 

“We’re gonna get one against them,” Johnson said. “We’re gonna get the next one.”


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