IOWA CITY– To say the Iowa win last week against South Dakota State, 82-69, at Carver was a knock-down, bang-up game might be an understatement.
Morgan Johnson went down with a shoulder injury. Kamille Wahlin suffered a deep thigh bruise and Theairra Taylor was lying on the floor with a banged-up left knee.
Morgan and Kamille were back in later while Theairra will have her left knee checked out. The 5-11 freshman tore her right ACL her senior year in high school and has been wearing a knee brace.
The bad news is Theairra will be out for the season.
That’s a crying shame as the Hawkeyes have been hit with the injury bug all year, losing Joann Hamlin for the season plus Hannah Draxten and Kachine Alexander have missed games because of being injured.
The good news is Kachine Alexander, coming off a stress fracture, played 25 solid minutes, had nine points, seven boards, five assists and three steals.
Kach is not in game shape yet, but Iowa coach Lisa Bluder is doing a great job of getting her in and out without wearing her down.
The big story of the game was the play of freshman Jaime Printy and Morgan Johnson.
Jaime continues to play like she’s been there before and is not afraid to take a shot during crunch time.
She just doesn’t get rattled.
Her 18 points led the Hawkeyes and her 3-pointer with Iowa up by one with three minutes left helped put the game away.
I’ve also been impressed with Morgan’s footwork. Assistant coach Jan Jensen said that Morgan studies film all of the time and is a quick learner.
She led the Hawks with nine rebounds and scored 11 points.
Coach Bluder loves a balanced attack and she got it with Kamille scoring 17, Kelly Krei 12.
Iowa also got some good minutes out of freshman Gabby Machado after Morgan got into foul trouble.
Six points, six rebounds, two assists, and a steal are not bad for Gabby’s 17 minutes. She has the inside toughness and should be ready for Big Ten play.
The Hawkeyes trailed by one at half but once again finished strong.
“This is the second game that we put together a remarkable second half,” said coach Bluder. “I thought our second half performance was very, very good, especially our rebounding. We were out rebounded by four in the first half; in the second half we out rebounded them by 16. We had 21 offensive rebounds in this game, which is fabulous, but I really think it was our defense. We forced them into 23 turnovers and we held a good 3-point shooting team to five 3-pointers.”
This was a great game for Iowa to play and win with the Big Ten season coming up next.
It was physical, up-tempo and South Dakota State played the Hawks closer than the final score read.
Iowa is young and talented.
If they can just stay healthy…