Today might be the first time in Jaime Printy’s Hawkeye career when she comes into the game off the bench.
The senior is recovering from a hamstring injury but is expected to play in the season-opener at 5:30 p.m. today against Northern Illinois.
“It’s definitely going to be a little bit different,” Printy said. “I”m just excited to get back out on the court.”
Coach Lisa Bluder said Printy likely won’t start. Iowa’s top returning scorer was recovering from an ACL injury when she injured her hamstring last week.
Printy practiced for the first time Wednesday.
“I would like to play her just to get her some minutes and confidence back,” Bluder said. “If we can play her, we’re going to play her.”
Sophomore Melissa Dixon is expected to replace Printy in the starting lineup. Dixon had a game-high 28 points in the 86-51 exhibition win Sunday over Quincy.
“I was so happy for her,” Printy said. “We had a talk before the game about confidence. She did absolutely amazing and shot the lights out. I was really happy for her and proud of her.”
In addition to it being the season-opener, the game also is the first round of the WNIT, and Iowa needs to win to host a second-round game at 2 p.m. Sunday against Illinois State or Moorehead State.
“We hope to get great attendance the first two rounds,” Bluder said. “It impacts where the third and fourth round are played.”
Northern Illinois comes in led by Kathi Bennett, in her third season with the Huskies after a three-year stint at Wisconsin.
While at Wisconsin, Bennett twice had the Badgers atop the Big Ten in scoring defense.
“They are a team that prides themselves on defense, and they do a very nice job of it,” Bluder said. “They play great defense, play player to player, and do a good job on the boards.
“We’ll have to be patient and not rush things.”
The Huskies lost three of their top four scorers. Sophomore Amanda Corral is the most experienced player returning (10.0 points per game).
Northern Illinois doesn’t have a player over 6-foot-2, and Bluder hopes to attack them in the paint with 6-5 senior center Morgan Johnson.
Reach Ryan Suchomel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 339-7368.
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball