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Free throws power Hawkeye women into Preseason WNIT semis

Published: Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 11:23 a.m. CST • Updated: Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 11:24 a.m. CST

 IOWA CITY (U of I) — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team shot free throws and saved its legs Sunday while advancing to the semifinals of the Preseason WNIT with a 74-64 victory against Illinois State on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes (2-0 overall) made 32 of 41 free throws and led by 22 points (72-50) with 3:20 left in the game. Twelve Hawkeyes saw action, and nine played at least 15 minutes.

Perhaps the best news of the afternoon came in the form of a postgame announcement: Iowa will host Middle Tennessee State on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.

UI senior center Morgan Johnson played 30 minutes against Illinois State, scoring 24 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the line. She grabbed nine rebounds with five blocked shots and made 12 consecutive free throws. Junior guard Theairra Taylor posted her first career double-double with 11 rebounds and 10 points. She handed out a team-high five assists.

Illinois State (1-1) finished with six more field goals than the Hawkeyes (25 to 19), but Iowa thrived from the line, compliments of 27 Redbird fouls. Nine Hawkeyes shot free throws, with Samantha Logic (4-of-4), Melissa Dixon (2-of-2), and Claire Till (2-of-2) turning in perfect efforts.

Iowa was 6-of-10 from the line in a season-opening 63-40 win against Northern Illinois on Nov. 9.

The Hawkeyes advance to the Preseason WNIT semifinals despite getting one point in 15 minutes from all-conference performer Jaime Printy, and a six-point, six-turnover effort from Logic. Logic pulled down five rebounds and handed out four assists with two steals.

The physical style wasn’t beneficial to Printy, who is returning from ACL repair and an aggravated hamstring.

Iowa shot 35.2 percent from the field (19-of-54) and held an edge in rebounding of six (50 to 44). The Hawkeyes blocked 10 shots -- five by Johnson, who is now four away from the school record in that category.

Illinois State was led by Jamie Russell with 30 points, 12 rebounds and eight steals. She is a transfer from the University of Wisconsin.

Middle Tennessee State defeated Kennesaw State, 87-45, on Friday and Memphis, 82-68, on Sunday.