Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
IOWA CITY, Iowa The knee doesn't hurt. Neither does the hamstring.
And the weight of a make-or-break shot didn't faze Jaime Printy, either.
Printy drilled a game-tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation, then scored eight of her game-high 26 points in overtime as Iowa outlasted Middle Tennessee, 69-63, in a Preseason WNIT semifinal in front of 1,691 Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"(Melissa Dixon) and I were going to spot up, and Sam (Logic) got me the ball," Printy said. "It felt good when it left my hand."
It felt better when it passed through the net. Printy's trey made it 59-all with 1.6 seconds left in regulation.
Iowa then scored 10 straight points in overtime including six free throws and a basket by Printy to prevail.
The Hawkeyes (3-0) will host North Carolina (3-0) for the championship at 3 p.m. Sunday. The Tar Heels beat Georgetown, 63-48, Wednesday.
Printy is nine months removed from a torn ACL, the second of her career.
"I know it's risking stating the obvious, but it's nice to have Jaime Printy back," said Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder. "The proof (that she is back), it's in the stat sheet."
Printy made 6 of 13 shots (3 of 7 from long distance) and converted all 11 of her free throws.
"I honestly don't think about the knee or the hamstring," she said. "I just notice the brace when it bugs me."
Morgan Johnson added 20 points and eight rebounds. She blocked two shots, leaving her one short of Tangela Smith's career record.
Logic didn't score a point, but dished out a career-high 12 assists.
Despite its status as a "directional" mid-major team, Middle Tennessee (2-1) is a very good outfit, and led through most of the second half.
Dixon's 3-pointer gave Iowa its first lead of the second half at 48-45 with 6:56 to go, and the Hawkeyes appeared safe at 56-50 with 2 minutes left.
The Blue Raiders scored the next nine points, forcing Printy to hit the key shot to extend the game.
"We forgot to step out on her," said MTSU Coach Rick Insell. "We lost a little of our basketball IQ there."
The first half featured three ties and 14 lead changes. Middle Tennessee took the largest first-half lead at 32-27 on Ebony Rowe's basket with 20 seconds left, but Theairra Taylor took a kick-out pass from Logic and drilled a trey just before the buzzer, and it was 32-30 at intermission.
Bethany Doolittle rolled her ankle on a shot attempt with 6:44 left in the half. She did return after halftime. And she did contribute, finishing with eight points and nine rebounds.
"When she went out, I didn't think she was coming back," Bluder said.
Rowe finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds for the Blue Raiders.
"We know we're not a big-name school, but we love the challenge of (opponents) like this," Rowe said. "Both teams fought hard, but in the end, they fought harder."
Earlier Wednesday, Bluder announced that Ally Disterhoft (Iowa City West) and Alexa Kastanek (Lincoln, Neb., Southeast) signed national letters of intent to join the Hawkeyes next season.
"It's one of the smaller classes we have brought in, but it's a quality class." Bluder said. "Ally and Alexa are two very good basketball players. They both fit into our system and we are excited to have them join our program."