Iowa hangs on for win
The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS - Even trailing by 13 in the second half, Iowa had faith that it wouldn't fall to 0-3 to start the Big Ten season.
Kachine Alexander scored 20 points and Kalli Hansen came up with big plays down the stretch to help the No. 21-ranked Hawkeyes win 63-57 at Minnesota on Wednesday night.
``We've just kind of been focusing on being more emotional, helping each other, and I had no doubt on my mind that we were going to pull it through,'' said Hansen, whose 3-pointer with 3:10 remaining tied the score and free throws just 16 seconds later put the Hawkeyes ahead.
The win snapped the Hawkeyes' two-game losing streak heading into Saturday's home showdown against No. 20 Ohio State.
``I hope at the end of the season we can look back at this as our turning point,'' said Kamille Wahlin, who scored 14 points and is one of four Minnesota natives on the Iowa roster.
``We love the Minnesota players,'' said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder. ``We've got a lot of them on our team and we'd like to continue to get a lot of them.''
It was the second straight game that the Gophers squandered a second-half lead. They blew a ten-point advantage in an overtime loss to Indiana on Sunday and have lost their first three games of the Big Ten season.
``You can say collapse if you want to make it more negative,'' said Minnesota coach Pam Borton. ``I loved our passion and I loved our energy. We have a lot of inexperienced kids and if we keep playing this hard we're going to start winning games pretty quickly here.''
Iowa (13-3, 1-2 Big Ten) scored the game's first five points and led 16-8 before going cold from the floor. The Hawkeyes missed 13 of 14 shots late in the first half to fall behind and trailed the Gophers 38-25 on a jump shot from the lane by Minnesota's Kristen Dockery.
The Hawkeyes surged to within three points at 48-45 when they began an 18-5 push that included Hansen's 3-pointer to tie the score. Hanson scored the go-ahead points from the free-throw line with 2:54 remaining, then stole the ball with 11 seconds left with the Gophers setting up for a potential game-tying basket.
Leah Cotton led Minnesota (8-8, 0-3) with 18 points, with Kiara Buford scoring 11.
Morgan Johnson added 12 points for Iowa, with Jaime Printy scoring 10.