Tar Heels Beat Bluder's Bunch in WNIT Championship
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- There are two halves to every basketball game, but the University of Iowa women's team realized Sunday that you can't lopsidedly concede one of the 20-minute sessions and win against a quality opponent.
The Hawkeyes (3-1 overall) skidded into a 22-point first-half hole against North Carolina (4-0) in the final of the Preseason WNIT, and despite out-scoring the Tar Heels by nine points in the second half, were defeated, 77-64, on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa seniors Morgan Johnson and Jaime Printy were named to the six-member all-tournament team.
"You can't take halves off," said Johnson, who compiled the 13th double-double of her career with 20 points and 11 rebounds. "You have to come out and be prepared for what coach (Lisa Bluder) has told us in film: that they're going to be big, and they're going to be long and lanky. You have to come in with that mindset next time of not letting a whole half slip away from us. It is going to be vital for our success down the road."
Johnson scored six of Iowa's first eight points, giving the Hawkeyes an 8-5 lead 4:36 into the game. For the game, she made 8-of-11 field goals with two blocks, two steals and an assist.
Printy was one of three Iowa players to scored 12 points. She added five rebounds and four assists. Johnson and Printy both played 39 minutes.
Also scoring in double figures for the Hawkeyes was Samantha Logic (12 points, six rebounds, six assists, four steals) and Melissa Dixon (12 points).
The Hawkeyes played a much better second half, making 14-of-34 field goals and pulling within 12 points on two occasions.
"It was pretty-much a miserable first half for us," UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. "The second half I thought we got our composure, played a lot better and took care of the ball better."
Iowa committed 15 turnovers during the first 20 minutes, leading to 19 points by the Tar Heels. North Carolina held a 16-0 advantage in second-chance points. In the second half, Iowa reduced its turnover total by five, scored 18 points in the paint and held North Carolina to 30-percent shooting from the field -- and forced 10 turnovers of its own.
"North Carolina is a long and athletic team and sometimes that is hard to go against," Printy said. "At the same time, we need to be prepared for that and learn from that because I'm sure we'll see a lot of teams like that in the future as well."
With a schedule that includes LSU, West Virginia, Texas and Florida State, Bluder knows this early-season setback will be a beneficial teaching tool.
"This was good for us to get four games this early in the year, especially the last two against quality opponents," Bluder said. "We're challenging ourselves and we want to do that. We would have liked to have taken advantage of that home opportunity because we're not going to get the opportunity to play North Carolina on our home floor again."
The next home opportunity is Tuesday, Nov. 20, against winless Robert Morris (0-3) from Moon Township, Pa.
"With only one day, we have to use that one day to prepare for Robert Morris than get ourselves better," Bluder said.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT).