Iowa Beats Minnesota on Late Kachine Shot
By Jeff Johnson, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Kach money, baby.
A game the Iowa Hawkeyes didn’t look like they would get was got last night by the heroics of Kachine Alexander, whose driving layup with five seconds left helped her team survive Minnesota, 64-62, before an announced crowd of 3,390 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
After tossing the inbounds pass, Alexander took a handoff from teammate Kelly Krei near the time line, drove the left side of the lane and ended Iowa’s two-game losing streak. The Hawks are back even in Big Ten play (6-6) and 18-7 overall.
“We were due for a win,” said Iowa’s Jamie Printy, who scored nine of her 13 points in the final three minutes. “I think it just goes to show that our team’s not going to give up. There are a lot of important games left. It’s always tough to lose two in a row, but I think we really bounced back tonight and played well together.”
The funny thing was the winning play wasn’t the one Hawkeye Coach Lisa Bluder called during a timeout with 10.6 seconds to go. Kamille Wahlin was supposed to get Alexander’s inbounds pass but was denied the basketball.
Hey, whatever works, especially when you’re a struggling team in need of something positive.
“When we couldn’t get it to Kamille, we had talked about how Kach was going to take it instead,” Bluder sqaid. “So we went kind of to Plan B there.”
“When I came around for the handoff, I kind of knew (defender) Kionna (Kellogg) was kind of going to sag off me and (try) not to let me get to the lane,” said Alexander, who picked up her eighth double-double of the season (17 points, 10 rebounds). “So I tried to get her off balance, and I think I did that.”
File this one under a win’s a win’s a win for Iowa, which trailed Minnesota (11-13, 3-8) for the vast majority of the game. The Gophers had a five-point edge with about six minutes to go, but Iowa rallied behind Wahlin, Alexander and Printy.
Printy hit a trey to put Iowa ahead, 62-59, with 43.8 seconds left, but China Antoine countered with a tying 3 with 23.6 to go. After Alexander’s layup, Minnesota (without any timeouts) pushed the ball down court, but Kiara Buford was stripped by Wahlin near the 3-point line to end it.
Antoine led Minnesota with 19 points. Buford added 15.
Iowa center Morgan Johnson was limited to 11 minutes and four points because of the flu.
“Good win for us,” Bluder said.
Hard to argue that, Coach.
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