IOWA CITY, Ia. The emotion during Iowa’s 58-44 win Tuesday night over Robert Morris came mainly from the pep band.
Playing off the Colonials’ origins, they chanted “One if by land, two if by sea!” or “Live free or die!” — among other things — when a Robert Morris player stepped to the foul line.
“The pep band was cracking me up,” senior center Morgan Johnson said. “I was trying to pay attention to boxing out and I was laughing so hard.
“They are always a riot.”
Said senior Jaime Printy: “Taxation without representation? I thought, ‘what was this, fifth grade social studies?
On the court, Iowa (3-1) was technically proficient taking down the Colonials (0-4).
“It’s a trap game; it’s a little bit of a dangerous game,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “I think coaches kind of understand those things and the emotions of playersand how much energy they expended Sunday in that game was pretty intense.”
Iowa may have been a bit spent from an overtime win over Middle Tennessee State last Wednesday and a tough loss to North Carolina on Sunday.
“After a big game like North Carolina, emotionally I don’t think we were 100 percent,” Samantha Logic said. “We need to fix that. You can’t take any games off emotionally.”
Robert Morris came to town winless, but presented some unique challenges. One was 6-foot-2 Artemis Spanou, who came in averaging 21.7 points per game.
Iowa used Johnson and Bethany Doolittle to smother Spanou, who had just nine points and eight turnovers.
“She was the key to their offense and I think we frustrated her and flustered her with our double-team,” Bluder said. “That is something we’ve never done before. We had one day to learn that defense.”
In addition to her defensive work, Johnson had 19 points and 11 rebounds to pace Iowa. It was her second double-double of the season.
“My guards have done a great job of getting me the ball,“ Johnson said. “I give all the credit to them. they are doing a great job of getting me open.”
No other Hawkeye broke double digits but every player got minutes. Printy had eight points, six rebounds and five assists.
“Offensively I just am not sure that this is the performance that we’re going to need to beat a good zone defense in the future,” Bluder said.
Iowa used 3-pointers from Melissa Dixon and Theairra Tylor during a 12-0 run to put the Hawkeyes in control early, 20-13.
Iowa led 23-20 at half, then started the second half on a 9-0 run, capped by a steal and lay-up by Logic to make it 31-20.
The Hawkeyes extended their lead to 16, 40-24, before the Colonials came back. A 3-pointer from Lou Mataly followed by four foul shots cut the lead to eight, 40-32. Printy ended the run with a 3-pointer with 7:37 to play
It was a slog to the final buzzer, but the Iowa defense kept Robert Morris from making any late runs.
The Colonial shot just 28.3 percent (15-of-53) from the field. Iowa won the rebounding battle 44 to 34. Iowa forced 16 turnovers and turned them into 16 points.
Mataly led Robert Morris with 13 points. Anna Gailite had 10 points and Ashley Ravelli and Spanou each had nine points. The Colonials feature six international players among their top 10.
Iowa had 18 assists on 22 field goals. Logic had nine assists, and Printy five.
“I think we were tying to be patient and work it against their zone,” Bluder said. “And I think that was a good decision on our players’ part tonight.”
The Hawkeyes hit 7-of-19 from 3-point range, with Printy and Dixon each hitting pair. Taylor, Claire Till and Kathy Thomas each added a 3-pointer, as well.
Iowa flies to Florida today for two games in the FIU Thanksgiving Classic in Miami, and the ACC/Big Ten challenge game at Florida State.
“We’re down there a week,’ Bluder said. “We’re going to have a little bit of fun.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball