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Hawk youngsters help get seniors last win at home

[ 0 ] February 26, 2012 |

The kids were more than just all right on Senior Day.

Freshman Samantha Logic recorded a triple-double and freshman Melissa Dixon led the Hawkeyes with 22 points as Iowa beat Michigan 79-71 Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The win was the eighth straight for Iowa (19-10, 11-5), which finished tied for second place in the Big Ten.

“It’s been incredible,” Dixon said. “We’ve all believed in each other the entire time. Just to continue this for our seniors has been huge.”

On Jan. 26, Iowa was 11-10 and 3-5 after a seven-point loss at Nebraska. Since then, the Hawkeyes also have lost top scorer Jaime Printy to an ACL injury.

“When you think of where we were a month ago, to think that we are tied for second in this conference right now is amazing,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “A large part of that is because of our seniors, and we wanted to win this game for our seniors.”

Iowa earned the three seed in the Big Ten Tournament and faces the winner of sixth seed Nebraska (21-7) and 11th seed Northwestern (14-15) at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

“It’s the standard,” senior Kamille Wahlin said. “This program has to make the NCAA Tournament and to be at the top of the Big Ten.

“We knew what was at stake the whole time. We handled the pressure and the adversity really well.”

Perhaps no player has blossomed under pressure like Logic. She recorded her fourth straight double-double midway through the second half and turned it into a triple-double a few minutes later.

Logic finished with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. It was the fourth triple-double in Hawkeye history.

“People don’t understand how hard it is to get a triple-double,” Bluder said. “A hard feat.”

Several of Logic’s assists went zipping from inside the paint to the 3-point arc and the waiting hands of Dixon. Her career-best 22 points included a career-high six 3-pointers.

“We knew that Michigan was going to sag,” Logic said. “When (Melissa’s) standing out there, that’s not a bad person to pass to.”

The freshmen helped make it a memorable final game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the five Hawkeye seniors.

Wahlin had 19 points, five assists and five rebounds to celebrate “Kamille Wahlin Day” in Crookston, Minn.

A big contingent of hometown fans made the drive for her final game.

“Last night we had a get-together, and it was fun to see them all here at once,” Wahlin said.

Early on, Michigan (19-10, 8-8) tried to spoil the party. The Wolverines were scorching from the field, shooting more than 60 percent and building a 21-13 lead.

But that’s when Dixon started her big night with three baskets in a row. She also was part of a 3-point flurry by the Hawkeyes — that included one by senior Kelly Krei and two by Wahlin — that helped them close the first half on a 23-8 run.

Iowa led at half 45-34.

“I think in transition we just hit a lot of open shots,” Dixon said. “We were moving the ball around really well.”

Michigan got some big shots from junior forward Sam Arnold off the bench to cut it to six, 59-53, midway through the second half.

Dixon responded with a pair of 3-pointers off passes from Logic. Senior Kalli Hansen hit a 3-pointer to make it 68-55 and force a Michigan timeout with 5:13 to play.

Iowa maintained its lead and even got senior Megan Considine — who has missed the entire season with injury — onto the floor for a few seconds. Senior Hannah Draxten also was honored.

Junior center Morgan Johnson finished with 15 points and six rebounds for Iowa.

Reach Ryan Suchomel at rsuchomel@press-citizen.com or 339-7368.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball

About Ryan Suchomel: Reach Ryan Suchomel at 339-7368 or rsuchomel@press-citizen.com. View author profile.

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