Iowa Women Dominate Paint, Beat UNI 68-46

By Jeff Linder, Reporter

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Unlike their male counterparts, the women still play for a mythical state basketball championship.

The Iowa Hawkeyes took their first step in that direction Saturday afternoon.

Morgan Johnson spearheaded a huge advantage in the paint, and the Hawkeyes dumper Northern Iowa, 68-46, before 6,368 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Johnson posted 19 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high five assists as Iowa improved to 6-3.

"A state title is important for us every season," Johnson said.

This is the first year that men's basketball teams will play a "Big Four Classic" -- with Iowa, Iowa State, UNI and Drake meeting in a one day, two-game event at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines -- instead of the traditional round-robin that the women still use.

Iowa hosts Iowa State on Thursday in a game that will pretty much determine bragging rights among the four Division-I women's teams.

"Personally, I'm for keeping it the way it is," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. "It's good for women's basketball in the state. There are four quality teams in the state."

Iowa enjoyed a 34-4 advantage in the paint, and UNI (3-4) managed just four baskets (in 24 attempts) inside the 3-point arc -- none in the first 18 minutes.

"There's no question that Iowa's size bothered us," said Panthers Coach Tanya Warren. "Their length bothered us. We got good shots, but the ball just didn't drop tonight."

Plus ...

"On the offensive side, we have Morgan Johnson," Bluder said. "She's such a good target. She has such beautiful hands."

And when she was double-teamed, she was able to pass out of it to cutters for baskets.

"It's an honor to be double-teamed," Johnson said. "I have total faith in the guards, to get them the ball."

Iowa had been sloppy with the ball in the early portion of the season, averaging 19.9 turnovers per game. Saturday, the Hawkeyes committed just nine.

The Panthers took their first and only lead of the game on Jacqui Kalin's 3-pointer to start things off. But Iowa manufactured a pair of 10-point runs on the way to a 20-8 advantage. It was 30-24 at halftime, then the Hawkeyes pulled away in the final 7 1/2 minutes.

It was 50-40 before the Hawkeyes closed with an 18-6 surge.

Logic added 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor. Jaime Printy scored nine.

Claire Till, a freshman from Dubuque who had been the Hawkeyes' most productive newcomer, missed Saturday's game and is expected to be out 3-4 weeks due to a stress fracture in her right femur.

Brooke Brown tallied 12 points for the Panthers.

IOWA 68, NORTHERN IOWA 46

At Iowa City

NORTHERN IOWA (46): Amber Kirschbaum 3-5 2-2 8, Jess McDowell 3-8 0-0 9, Jacqui Kalin 2-13 4-4 9, Brooke Brown 3-6 3-4 12, Brittni Donaldson 1-7 0-0 3, Amber Sorenson 0-1 0-0 0, Sharnae Lamar 0-5 2-2 2, Stephanie Davison 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Schonhardt 0-2 3-4 3, Jen Keitel 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 12-53 14-16 46.

IOWA (68): Bethany Doolittle 4-11 0-0 8, Morgan Johnson 6-11 7-11 19, Samantha Logic 7-9 1-1 15, Theairra Taylor 3-6 0-0 6, Jaime Printy 2-7 4-4 9, Trisha Nesbitt 0-0 0-0 0, Kathy Thomas 0-1 0-0 0, Melissa Dixon 2-4 0-0 6, Kali Peschel 1-4 1-2 3, Nicole Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Kayla Timmerman 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 26-54 13-18 68.

Halftime: Iowa 30, UNI 24. 3-point goals: UNI 8-29 (McDowell 3-8, Kalin 1-7, Brown 3-5, Donaldson 1-5, Lamar 0-2, Davison 0-1, Schonhardt 0-1), Iowa 3-11 (Logic 0-1, Taylor 0-2, Printy 1-4, Dixon 2-2, Peschel 0-2). Team fouls: UNI 17, Iowa 16. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: UNI 31 (Kirschbaum 11), Iowa 43 (Johnson 12). Assists: UNI 9 (Kalin 4), Iowa 17 (Johnson, Printy 5). Steals: UNI 2 (Kirschbaum, Brown), Iowa 5 (Johnson 2). Turnovers: UNI 11, Iowa 9.

Attendance: 6,368.
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