If the No. 18 ranked Iowa women’s basketball team ends up beating No. 25 Ohio State on national television Monday night, you can bet that sophomore Jaime Printy is going to be one of the reasons why.
Besides being the team’s leading scorer coming into the 6 p.m. game at Value City Arena, Printy also has averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and five assists against teams that have been in the top 25 this year. That includes scoring 25 points against Ohio State earlier this year when Iowa won big at Carver Hawkeye Arena.
“She is in the gym early and she stays late,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said of Printy. “On her days off, she is in the gym shooting. She does things right, whether you’re on the floor or off the floor. She has great values and does things the right way.”
If Iowa ends up knocking off Ohio State in Columbus on Monday night, it would on ESPN2 in front of thousands of fans in the arena and even more watching at home.
“Anytime we are on national television, it is an opportunity for us to show the United States what we are about,” Bluder said. “It is a great tool, and we want to use it.”
A win Monday also would be the first time Iowa would get a sweep over Ohio State since the 1997-98 season when the Hawkeyes beat the Buckeyes twice during the regular season and again in the Big Ten Tournament. Ohio State leads the all-time series 28-26 and also swept Iowa last year on their way to the Big Ten Conference title.
The Buckeyes were expected to win the title again this year, especially with the league’s best player in Jantel Lavender returning to the starting lineup. But Ohio State is just 12-6 and 3-3 in league play.
“They are not shooting the 3 as well as they used to be,” Bluder said. “And think their defense can improve. I mean that is me talking about another team, which I don’t like to really do. But I think we did a good job of attacking their defense last time around.”
In that game, Iowa won 89-76 in front of a large crowd in Iowa City. Printy had 25 points in that game but three other players scored in double figures. That is how the season has gone though as Printy, Kachine Alexander, Kamille Wahlin and Morgan Johnson all average in double figures for the season.
Alexander comes into the game averaging nearly 14 points and nine rebounds per game. She is just six double-doubles away from setting an Iowa record for most double-doubles in program history. Johnson is averaging 11 points and nearly eight boards per game and Wahlin is scoring 12.2 points per game.
Bluder talked about the earlier win against Ohio State and said some of the same things have to happen this time around.
“We did a good job on Jantel the first time around,” Bluder said. “She got her points late when the game was pretty much out of reach. We have to simulate that again because she is just so good. We also have to contest the 3-pointers. We will play some zone too, so we will have to get a hand up in their faces.”
Lavender is averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds per game this season, but three other Ohio State players also are averaging in double figures. The Buckeyes began the season 8-1 but have gone just 4-5 since, including losses to unranked Michigan, Northwestern and Duquesne. They also have lost to unranked Syracuse.
“We confidence because we know that we beat the last time we played them and we have played them close the last four times we have played,” Bluder said. “We know we can go there and win, but we also have to understand its a brand-new game. They beat (conference leader) Michigan State by double digits so that certainly brings awareness to our team.”