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Iowa women use huge second half to fuel Senior Night win

BY NICK DELAQUILA | MARCH 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s basketball team cut an 18-point deficit to beat the Indiana Hoosiers, 75-70, to improve to 18-11 (6-8 Big Ten) overall.

Iowa fell behind quickly; the Hoosiers took advantage of four-straight 3-point baskets, coupled with the Hawkeyes starting 1-of-7 from the field, to spark a 12-0 run early on in the first half.

“We were down 18, but it was Senior Night, and we were playing with a lot on the line,” senior guard Jaime Printy said. “We just kept believing, and I looked at Sam [Logic] and told her we are not losing this game — ‘let’s go.’ ”

Iowa’s defense finally started to show up around the 14-minute mark in the first half — which in turn led to an 8-2 Iowa run to get the Hawks back in the game — trailing only 16-10. But Indiana senior forward Aulani Sinclair was not having any of the Iowa comeback. After knocking down a pair of 3s and a long 2 early on in the game, Sinclair came down and nailed another 3 and deep 2 in two-straight possessions to push the lead back to 12 at 26-14 with 8:34 remaining. She ended up with a game-high 31 points on 12-22 shooting.

After the lead reached as many as 18 with just over six minutes remaining, sophomore guard Melissa Dixon contributed her own 9-0 run by banking in one 3 and following it up by rattling home two more to cut the lead to 9 with 4:20 remaining in the first half. Dixon’s spark put a little life in the Hawkeyes, and she finished with a team-high 22 points.

“You would have to be silly not to vote her as the Sixth Player of the Year,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “To me — it’s a lock — we know she’s deserving of it.”

Everyone started to contribute in the second half ; junior guard Theairra Taylor scored two quick baskets to bring the Hawkeyes within 1 at 55-54. Taylor finished with 11 points on the night. Iowa finally evened the score by a pair of Morgon Johnson free throws that tied the game at 60 with six minutes remaining.

With 5:15 left, Iowa finally took its first lead of the game. After a few possessions of going back and forth, senior guard Printy hit a huge 3 to give Iowa a 65-62 advantage with a little morethan three minutes remaining.

Printy drilled it with all smiles, which was fitting as it turned out to be her final regular-season 3 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Then the seniors started to take over. Two buckets by center Johnson, followed by a pair of Printy free throws pushed the Iowa lead to 74-68 with just over 30 seconds remaining.

“Those are the shots we shoot in practice every single day; I’ve shot those shots thousands of times,” Johnson said.

The senior women weren’t going to let their last memory of playing in front of the Carver faithful be a loss. Johnson finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, and Printy finished with 14 points and 6 assists.

Next, the Hawkeyes will travel to Northwestern (3/3) for a last tune-up before the Big Ten Tournament begins on March 8.

“This win is enormous; we felt like we needed two wins this week, and you don’t get the second one without the first one,” Bluder said. “It’s great to get this win heading into Northwestern.”


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