Iowa City, Ia. — Trisha Nesbitt’s gamble yielded a payoff in Iowa’s 71-51 women’s basketball victory against Indiana on Sunday.
Nesbitt, a sophomore from Ames, is Iowa’s backup point guard and missed the first two months of the season after tearing a tendon in a foot for the third time. She could have taken a medical hardship and skipped the season, but elected to return on Jan.5 even though the tendon could tear again.
The Hawkeyes needed her Sunday when starting point guard Kamille Wahlin had to sit out the last six minutes of the first half with foul trouble. Nesbitt played 14 minutes overall and scored three points, but what she mostly added was depth.
“Today was just an opportunity for me to step up when Kamille wasn’t able to be in there,” Nesbitt said. “I wanted to play the whole time, it’s just whether I would be ready and able. I think I made a good decision. It’s holding up so far.”
While Nesbitt was out, the Hawkeyes had to move shooting guard Jaime Printy to the point to spell Wahlin.
“I’m definitely happy that Trisha is back,” Printy said. “It helps our whole team. Everyone can stay in their own positions.”
No. 16 Iowa (15-4, 3-3 Big Ten) needed its depth as both Wahlin and center Morgan Johnson had foul trouble.
Johnson played only 18 minutes, but Kelsey Cermak and freshman Jade Rogers helped fill the void.
The Hawkeyes, however, coming off a 63-60 loss on a last-second 3-pointer at Michigan State, bounced back with a decisive win.
“We didn’t hang our heads after that loss, but at the same time, we have to keep moving forward,” guard Kachine Alexander said. “I’m very proud of our team for coming out with this win.”
Printy led all scorers with 18 points and Alexander added 14 points and 10 rebounds while playing before a crowd of 6,596 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes weren’t crisp — they shot 36.4 percent, missed several layups and committed 18 fouls that resulted in 29 Indiana free-throw attempts. But, they held the Hoosiers (8-10, 2-4) to 25.5 percent shooting and led by double digits for most of the game.
“Our offense didn’t get much flow because of all the fouls, but at the same time, I thought our defense was good,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.
Bluder also said that Nesbitt’s return was in part because of Alexander’s presence.
“Trisha wanted to play with Kachine,” Bluder said. “She wanted to have the opportunity to play with Kachine during her senior year. I think that was her motive, 100 percent. She looks up to Kash a lot.
“What I would like to see from Trisha is to get back to where she was last year — backing up our point guard and playing great defense. Last year, there were times when she was our second-best defensive perimeter player (behind Alexander).”
Kelly Krei sank a 3-pointer on the game’s first shot and the Hawkeyes led throughout. They used an 11-1 spurt to jump to a 20-7 lead.
The closest the Hoosiers got in the second half was whittling Iowa’s lead to 45-36. But a Printy 3-pointer and two free throws sparked a 10-2 run that stretched the lead to 55-38 with 7:48 to play. Iowa led by as many as 23 points.
Iowa will be off this week and return on Jan.24 at Ohio State. The Buckeyes on Sunday handed Michigan State its first conference loss.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball