Seniors' Hawkeye story comes to an end with Notre Dame loss

BY MATT CABEL | MARCH 27, 2013 5:00 AM

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Jaime Printy sat alone on the bench. Her arms rested on her legs. Her head was down. 

The announcer had barely finished announcing before the home crowd roared for the Marion native. She rose from her seat to take her place on Carver-Hawkeye Arena’s hardwood. 

Printy high-fived the teammates who had lined up around her on her way to the Tigerhawk in the center of the court. After shaking her opponent’s hand and walking back to her teammates, they all circled up, linked arms and raised their hands towards the sky in front of their home crowd ā€” one last time.

“Just knowing that it was our last home game was kind of weird,” Printy said. “Everything you did was ‘Oh, it’s the last time we’ll do this in Carver.’ But it comes to an end for everyone.”

It was the goal Printy, her teammates, and coaches had worked toward all season: the chance to play NCAA Tournament games inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

They went above and beyond the call, beating Miami, 69-53, on March 24. That victory gave them one last opportunity to play in front of the crowd that had rooted for them all season long. 

“I was looking forward to this game more than anything,” said senior Morgan Johnson, who plans on playing overseas for a year before attending medical school, said. “We had nothing to lose, and we played out there like we had nothing to lose.”

But top-seed Notre Dame became the immovable force that was the second round. As the final buzzer rang, the ink began to dry in the concluding chapter of seniors Printy, Johnson and Trisha Nesbitt. 

It was easily the biggest game of Printy, Nesbitt and Johnson’s career, and unlike any they’d played in before ā€” it’s not every day the Notre Dame women’s basketball team comes to Iowa City wearing white jerseys.

“Nothing about today was normal,” senior Morgan Johnson said. “We went to class, we ate pregame meal like normal, but inside, it was not normal at all.”

But it didn’t stop the Hawkeyes from relishing the opportunity to host and play against one of the best teams in women’s college basketball. 

The Irish were just too much. 

Printy started the game with 4 quick points on lay-ups, but she was quieted by the Irish until she sunk a pair of free throws when a technical was called on Notre Dame’s Natalie Achonwa in the second half. Printy finished her final game in an Iowa uniform with 10 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists. 

“Two starters, with names like Morgan Johnson and Jaime Printy, that’s not going to be an easy role to fill.” sophomore guard Sam Logic said.

When Printy, Johnson, and Nesbitt left the court with barely a minute remaining, the crowd members rose to their feet, paying their final respects for the seniors who had helped lead the program to four of the team’s six-consecutive NCAA appearances. 

The Bluder Bunch gathered in center court and waved to the crowd before exiting the court ā€” a feeling that Printy said brought mixed emotions. 

“I was just trying to enjoy every single moment tonight,” she said. “Even when the shots didn’t fall and we had turnovers, I was just trying to enjoy it one last time.” 

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