Hawkeye Women Win Ugly Over Iowa State

By Jeff Linder, Reporter

Iowa Hawkeyes center Morgan Johnson (12) celebrates after a basket during the second half an NCAA college basketball game against the Iowa State Cyclones Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Grant Burkhardt

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Jaime Printy grabbed the final rebound of the game and raised a fist toward the Carver-Hawkeye Arena ceiling.

Morgan Johnson loped to Printy and embraced her as the final seconds ticked off.

Johnson's words?

"We got it."

And, as ugly as it was, they're not throwing it back.

The lowest women's basketball game in Iowa-ISU history went to the Hawkeyes, 50-42, Thursday night before a crowd of 4,483.

"It was an incredible defensive battle," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. "It was a battle the whole way."

Iowa (7-3) jumped to a 14-0 lead, lost it, then was able to grind it out at the end. The Hawkeyes shot 29 percent from the field, No. 22 Iowa State (5-1) shot 26 percent.

"That was ugly," ISU Coach Bill Fennelly said as he began his press session. "It's tough to spot a team two touchdowns at the beginning of the game. I'm proud of our effort, but the difference was, we couldn't make a shot."

The outcome meant the home team has won 11 of the last 12 games in this series. Iowa seniors Johnson, Printy and Trisha Nesbitt won their swan song against the Cyclones.

"We talked about picturing the moment," Johnson said. "To go out with a win, it's a great feeling."

The Hawkeyes' delight was the Cyclones' misery. ISU's Hallie Christofferson sniffed back tears afterward.

A scribe asked her why the loss stung so much.

"Because it's Iowa," she said. "There's not much more to say."

ISU didn't score until Nikki Moody's 3-pointer, more than 7-minutes into the game. The Hawkeyes led 14-0 before that, but the Cyclones rallied within 20-17 at halftime.

The Cyclones took their only lead at 26-24 on Christofferson's 3-pointer with 12:20 left in the game.

Iowa went on a 15-2 run to seemingly reclaim control at 39-28, but the Cyclones countered with 11 straight points to tie it, 39-39, with 3:50 to go.

The final run belonged to the Hawkeyes.

Melissa Dixon drilled a 3-pointer with 3:30 left to put Iowa in front for good. Then, Dixon scored on a feed from Bethany Doolittle to make it 47-42 with 1:26 to go.

"I was definitely feeling it," she said. "My teammates got me the ball, and I was open."

Dixon and Theairra Taylor led the Hawkeyes with 11 points apiece. Jaime Printy added 10.

"Our scouting report on Dixon was to guard her just like you'd guard Printy," Fennelly said. "She wasn't a surprise."

Johnson scored seven points, the first time this season she has been held to single digits.

Moody paced ISU with 12 points. Christofferson and 6-foot-7 Anna Prins added 10 apiece, and Christofferson grabbed 13 rebounds.

The 92 combined points was by far the fewest in the 43 Iowa-ISU games. It eclipsed the 102 points scored two years ago in Iowa's 62-40 victory.

Iowa State's Chelsea Poppens missed the game due to lingering effects from a concussion.

"When you don't have your best player, it's hard," Fennelly said. "But that's not an excuse."

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