Cedar Rapids, Iowa News, Sports, and Weather
WBB: In-State Battles Begin For Iowa, UNI
By Jeff Linder, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Traveling. Bad passes. Offensive fouls.
They're all taking a toll on ball security for the Iowa Hawkeyes.
"I'm very concerned about our turnovers," Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said as the Hawkeyes (5-3) prepare for their first intrastate game of the season -- at 2:30 Saturday afternoon against Northern Iowa (3-3).
"I'd be worried about it if we were playing a junior high team."
Iowa is averaging 19.9 turnovers per game; the Hawkeyes' ball security ranks 240th in NCAA Division I.
In six of their first eight games, the Hawks have coughed it up 20 or more times -- including 24 the last time out in a loss to Florida State in the Big Ten
"Obviously, that's too many," Bluder said. "It's something we want to improve on, and it's happening over and over."
Part of the reason, Bluder said, is that they've played so many games lately, they haven't had an opportunity to make corrections.
"It seems like we've had a game, a practice, a game, a practice ... We can't work in the gym to improve. We're constantly getting ready for our next opponent," she said.
Iowa has won five straight against UNI, including a 78-74 victory last year at Cedar Falls. The Hawkeyes' next three games are against their in-state foes. They host Iowa State on Dec. 6, then play at Drake on Dec. 16.
Morgan Johnson has been a consistent scorer for the Hawkeyes. The senior has reached double figures in all eight games and leads the team at 18.4 points per game.
The game will feature two of the nation's two free throw shooters. UNI's Jacqui Kalin is hitting 96.7 percent from the line while Iowa's Jaime Printy is accurate on 93.0 percent of her tries.
Kalin has redshirted twice because of knee injuries and was granted a sixth year of eligibility.
"I have a lot of respect for her as a player; she's the key to their team," Bluder said. "She's a quality human being. And obviously it's a blessing for UNI that she got that sixth year."