Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa women's basketball outlasts Princeton with overtime comeback

Hawkeyes win 24th straight at home, head to Puerto Rico with better feelings

IOWA CITY — The Iowa Hawkeyes were down emotionally after a drubbing at Northern Iowa three days ago.

They were down 13 points in the first half, down six points in overtime after a miracle shot by Princeton’s Julia Cunningham extended the game.

In each case, they dug themselves out.

Makenzie Meyer’s 3-pointer ignited an overtime comeback, and Iowa extended its Carver-Hawkeye Arena winning streak to 24 with a 77-75 women’s basketball excape in front of 5,885 Wednesday night.

“That was a great rebound win for us,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “We had our tail between our legs a little bit (after an 88-66 loss to UNI on Sunday). But we kept believing.

“We overcame a lot of stuff tonight, and we were able to beat a great team and a great player.”

Iowa (3-1) appeared to have the game won in regulation when Meyer made two free throws to put the Hawkeyes up 67-64 with 0:00.8 remaining.

Princeton called timeout and advanced the ball to halfcourt, then Cunningham took the inbounds pass and banked in a desperation 30-footer. It was the third time the Tigers (4-1) used the glass on a 3-pointer.

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“Obviously, that was disappointing,” Iowa’s Kathleen Doyle said. “It kind of took the wind out of our sails. We just said, ‘This isn’t over. We still have five minutes to play.’”

Princeton scored the first six points of overtime before Meyer took a feed from the driving Doyle and kick-started the Hawkeyes with 2:03 left.

“We drew up a play and executed it perfectly,” Meyer said.

Meyer’s two free throws gave Iowa a 74-73 lead with 50 seconds left in OT, and the Hawkeyes took it home from there.

Iowa survived a 26-point night by Princeton’s Bella Alarie.

“She’s one of the best power forwards in the nation, and Amanda (Ollinger) made her work for every one of those points,” Bluder said.

Ollinger played a career-high 41 minutes, registering eight points and 13 rebounds.

“With Monika (Czinano) in foul trouble, Coach said, ‘You’re the 5,’” Ollinger said. “The support I got was endless. That’s what is going to make this team special this year.”

Princeton led 37-24 late in the first half before a strong third quarter brought the Hawkeyes back. They tied the game at 45-45, then the fourth quarter featured seven lead changes.

Doyle led the Hawkeyes with 21 points (she made 10 of 12 free throws) and nine assists. Meyer tallied 19 points and Czinano added 10 before fouling out. Gabbie Marshall joined Ollinger with eight points.

The Hawkeyes play three games in a four-day stretch in San Juan, Puerto Rico, starting with Cincinnati on Nov. 27.

IOWA 77, PRINCETON 75 (OT)

At Iowa City

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PRINCETON (75): Taylor Baur 2-9 0-0 4, Carlie Littlefield 2-10 0-0 4, Grace Stone 4-10 4-4 13, Julia Cunningham 6-16 1-4 17, Bella Alerie 10-18 3-4 26, Maddie Plank 0-0 0-0 0, Abby Meyers 0-1 0-0 0, Neenah Young 2-4 0-0 4, Maggie Connolly 2-3 0-0 4, Ellie Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, McKenna Haire 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 29-73 8-12 75.

IOWA (77): Amanda Ollinger 4-8 0-2 8, Monika Czinano 5-7 0-0 10, Makenzie Meyer 5-12 4-4 19, Alexis Sevillian 1-5 0-0 3, Kathleen Doyle 5-15 10-12 21, Gabbie Marshall 2-5 2-3 8, Tomi Taiwo 1-1 0-0 2, Kate Martin 0-1 0-0 0, McKenna Warnock 1-3 2-2 5, Logan Cook 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 24-59 19-25 77.

Halftime: Princeton 37, Iowa 27. End of regulation: 67-67. 3-point goals: Princeton 9-22 (Baur 0-1, Littlefield 0-2, Stone 1-2, Cunningham 4-7, Alarie 3-4, Meyers 0-1, Young 0-2, Connolly 0-1, Haire 1-2), Iowa 10-27 (Meyer 5-10, Sevillian 1-3, Doyle 1-5, Marshall 2-4, Martin 0-1, Warnock 1-3, Cook 0-1). Team fouls: Princeton 22, Iowa 13. Fouled out: Baur, Stone, Czinano). Rebounds: Princeton 35 (Baur, Littlefield, Alarie 7), Iowa 47 (Ollinger 13). Assists: Princeton 19 (Baur 4), Iowa 18 (Doyle 9). Steals: Princeton 5 (Cunningham 2), Iowa 4 (four with 1). Turnovers: Princeton 9, Iowa 15.

Attendance: 5,885.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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