Printy puts Hawkeyes on her back

IOWA CITY – The Badgers refused to go away.

Then Jamie Printy forced their exit.

Scoring 12 straight points, Printy rallied the Iowa women’s basketball team from a one-point deficit to a 71-60 victory over Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena Thursday.

“Jamie Printy was a hero tonight,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “She did it in all areas, taking it to the hoop, step-back 3’s, going to the free-throw line; it was in all manners that she was looking to score.”

The senior guard scored 20 of her game-high 29 points after intermission. Printy made all five of her field goal attempts in the second half, including a pair of 3s, while also hitting 10-of-11 free throws.

“I knew we should beat this team and we weren’t playing well, and I didn’t want to lose,” Printy said.

Trailing 52-51, Printy took over at the 5:25 mark with a layup and added a 3-pointer, a conventional 3-point play, a layup and four free throws to give the Hawkeyes a 65-55 lead with 1:33 left. Iowa (15-5, 4-2) outscored Wisconsin 18-5 over the last four minutes to pull away.

“We let one player beat us, basically that’s what we did,” Wisconsin coach Bobbie Kelsey said of Printy’s performance. “We had a good gameplan and when you go under screens on the best shooter on the court. … We talked about that over and over again and we’re just not following the game plan. It’s disappointing.”

Printy, who made 8-of-10 field goals in the game, has been cool in the clutch all season. She has a perfect 33-of-33 mark from the line in the final five minutes of a game, and is 27-for-27 in the last two minutes.

The Hawkeyes didn’t attempt a single free throw in the first half before making 16-of-18 after halftime, including 14 in a row to close it out. Iowa made 49 percent (25-of-51) of its field goals and limited the Badgers to 37.5 percent (24-of-64).

Iowa led 25-15 with three minutes left in the first half before Wisconsin (9-11, 1-6) rallied to pull within 27-22 at the half. The Badgers held their final lead at 55-53 on a 3-pointer from Jacki Gulczynski with 4:54 to play, before Printy took over to spark 16 unanswered points for Iowa.

“Not the prettiest basketball we have played all year, but it’s a win,” Bluder said.

“I’m not going to complain about the things we didn’t do well; I’m going to celebrate the things we did do well.”

Melissa Dixon, Bethany Doolittle and Theairra Taylor each scored 10 points for Iowa. Doolittle had a team-high three blocks and added seven rebounds. Samantha Logic led the Hawkeyes with nine boards and Printy had eight.

Battling a bloody nose and foul trouble throughout, Morgan Johnson – the team’s leading scorer, was limited to 17 minutes, four rebounds and two points.

Cassie Rochel paced the Badgers with a career-high 17 points and also grabbed 14 rebounds. Jacki Gulczynski added 13 points and 10 boards, while Morgan Paige scored 10.

Iowa faces No. 23 Michigan on the road Saturday with tip-off set for 1 p.m. The Wolverines won the previous meeting 68-64.