IOWA CITY, Ia. — Morgan Johnson bobblehead night turned into Jaime Printy rescue night for the Iowa women’s basketball team.
Printy broke open a close game late in the second half by scoring 14 consecutive points to help Iowa defeat Wisconsin 71-60 Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“Not the prettiest basketball that we’ve played all year, but it’s a win and that’s good,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “And Jaime Printy was a hero tonight.
“We’re down one point with 6 minutes to go and she scores 14 straight points. That makes a coach’s life awful easy.”
Iowa was trailing 52-51 when Printy made a basket with 5:26 left in the second half.
Wisconsin answered with a 3-pointer by Jacki Gulczynski with 4:55 remaining.
But Printy was just getting started.
She made a 3-point basket to give Iowa a 56-55 lead with 4:11 remaining and Iowa never trailed again. Printy’s trey triggered a 16-0 scoring run in which she scored all but two of the points.
The former Linn-Mar standout converted a traditional 3-point play after being fouled while making a layup, expanding the lead to 59-55 with 3:30 remaining. Printy made another layup to expand the lead to 61-55 with 2:48 left to play. And she made four consecutive free throws down the stretch to help Iowa defeat the Badgers for the 12th game in a row.
“I just didn’t want to lose,” said Printy, who finished with a game-high 29 points, including 22 in the second half. “I knew we should beat this team and we weren’t playing very good.”
“I just didn’t want to lose. My teammates did a good job of finding me and there were some gaps to get to get to the rim and to get to the free-throw line.”
Iowa improved to 15-5 overall and 4-2 with the victory, while the Badgers fell to 9-11 and 1-6 in the Big Ten. Iowa also defeated Wisconsin 65-56 on Jan. 10 in Madison. Wis.
Iowa prevailed Thursday despite only getting two points from Johnson on a night when she was honored with a bobblehead doll given out in her likeness. The 6-5 senior only scored two points in 17 minutes.
Johnson entered as Iowa’s leading scorer with a 16.9 per-game average. She was slowed by a bloody nose in the first half and by foul problems throughout the game.
Iowa (15-5, 4-2 Big Ten Conference) plays Sunday at No. 23 Michigan.
“Anytime you win, that’s the bottom line,” said Bluder, who picked up her 601st career victory Thursday. “We found a way to win and that’s good.
“We’re so used to having Morgan with double-doubles and that sort of thing and on the floor a lot more time.”
Printy said she tried hard down the stretch to draw fouls because she wanted to be shooting free throws with the game on the line. She made 10-of-11 free throws overall and Iowa made 16-of-18 as a team.
“I have confidence in everyone,” Printy said. “But I don’t mind being up there.”
Iowa bolted to a 14-4 lead and only trailed once in the first half at 5-4 when Wisconsin junior guard Morgan Paige made a 3-point basket with 15:56 remaining before the break.
The Hawkeyes kept the momentum until Wisconsin scored seven consecutive points to close out the first half, trimming the deficit to 27-22 at halftime.
The Badgers chipped away at the deficit in the second half and took their biggest lead at 43-39 on a basket by center Cassie Rochel with 11:49 remaining.
Printy was among four Iowa players who scored in double figures Thursday. Bethany Dolittle, Theairra Taylor and Melissa Dixon all finished with 10 points apiece.
Rochel led three Badgers in double figures with 17 points. Paige finished with 14 points, but was just 6-of-18 from the field, including 1-of-9 from 3-point range.
Paige, who graduated from Marion High School, is used to seeing Printy take over a game after competing against her in school.
“She’s a really good player,” Paige said of Printy. “I’ve been playing against her forever. She kind of killed us there at the end.”
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball