IOWA CITY, Iowa Kamille Wahlin forced overtime, then the Iowa Hawkeyes ruled it.
Wahlin hit a contested 3-pointer the Hawkeyes' first of the night after 12 straight misses with 10 seconds left in regulation, then Iowa scored the first seven points of overtime and defeated Illinois, 69-62, in a Big Ten women's basketball game in front of 3,815 Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"I knew it was coming to me, and I wanted to create a little space," Wahlin said of the step-back trey. "We felt it was our game the whole way. Thankfully, it went in."
Iowa (10-6 overall, 2-1 Big Ten) was sledding uphill throughout the majority of the game, trailing by as much as six points. Long-distance inaccuracy was one reason why.
But Karisma Penn's miss of the front end of a one-and-one with 23 seconds left kept the door open for the Hawkeyes, and Wahlin extended the game.
"We played another 39-minute game," said Illinois Coach Jolette Law, a former Hawkeye player. "We guarded the three all night. That's what they live by.
"We followed the game plan until the final seconds (of regulation)."
Illinois (6-10, 0-3) still had a chance to win, but Lydia McCully misfired from the right baseline.
Overtime was Iowa's time.
Jaime Printy hit two free throws to open the extra session, then followed with a 3-pointer to make it 60-55. Morgan Johnson delivered a pair of free throws that extended the margin to seven, and the lead didn't waver beneath five points again.
Plain and simple, Iowa escaped.
"We've had some tough losses," Printy said. "To get a win tonight was big, no matter what happened. We pulled together, and that will help in the future."
Printy led the Hawkeyes with 20 points, despite 4-of-17 shooting from the floor. She did make 11 free throws in 14 attempts.
Johnson overcame some wooziness after a shot to the head to post 14 points and 16 rebounds her ninth career double-double. Wahlin scored 13.
Penn led the Fighting Illini with 20 points.
It was another heartbreaker for the Illini, who have lost four games either in overtime or by four points or less.
Illinois scored the final six points of the first half for a 31-27 lead, then built a six-point cushion on three occasions in the second half.
The Hawkeyes got even on three occasions, the last of which came on Kalli Hansen's short bank shot that made it 51-51 with 3:10 left.
Baskets by Penn and Adrienne GodBold gave the Illini a 55-52 edge before Wahlin knotted it.
"I'll continue to believe in our 3-point shooters, no matter what," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said.
Samantha Logic suffered an apparent ankle injury late in regulation and didn't return. She left the arena in a boot. Her status is questionable for the Hawkeyes' game Sunday at home against Nebraska.
IOWA 69, ILLINOIS 62 (OT)
At Iowa City
ILLINOIS (62): Karisma Penn 9-16 2-6 20, Kersten Magrum 3-8 4-4 10, Lydia McCully 4-13, 1-2 11, Ivory Crawford 1-7 0-0 2, Amber Moore 3-9 0-0 7, Taylor Tuck 0-0 0-0 0, Alexis Burke 3-5 0-0 6, Adrienne GodBold 3-12 0-0 6. Totals 26-70 7-12 62.
IOWA (69): Kelly Krei 2-5 1-2 5, Morgan Johnson 5-10 4-6 14, Kamille Wahlin 4-14 4-4 13, Samantha Logic 3-13 0-0 6, Jaime Printy 4-17 11-14 20, Kalli Hansen 2-4 1-2 5, Trisha Nesbitt 0-0 0-0 0, Theairra Taylor 1-2 2-2 4, Bethany Doolittle 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 21-65 25-32 69.
Halftime: Illinois 31, Iowa 27. End of regulation: 55-55. 3-point goals: Illinois 3-12 (McCully 2-3, Crawford 0-1, Moore 1-7, Burke 0-1), Iowa 2-14 (Krei 0-3, Wahlin 1-4, Logic 0-1, Printy 1-5, Hansen 0-1). Team fouls: Illinois 21, Iowa 15. Fouled out: Magrum, GodBold. Rebounds: Illinois 45 (Penn 9), Iowa 49 (Johnson 16). Assists: Illinois 15 (Moore 5), Iowa 15 (Wahlin, Printy 4). Steals: Illinois 6 (Penn 2), Iowa 9 (Wahlin, Hansen 2). Turnovers: Illinois 16, Iowa 10.