MIAMI, Fla. – The No. 12/14 West Virginia women’s basketball team fell 79-70 to Iowa in its final game of the FIU Thanksgiving Classic, Sunday, in Miami, Fla.
In a physical game with 58 fouls called, the Hawkeyes (5-2) used a strong second half to overcome the Mountaineers (3-2). Twenty seven of Iowa’s 54 second-half points came off free throws, as the Hawkeyes shot 84 percent (42-50) from the line. Senior guard Jaime Printy co-led Iowa in scoring with 19 points, converting 17-of-17 from the free throw line. Morgan Johnson put up 19 points with 6-of-11 from the field.
The Mountaineers led 32-25 at halftime, but Iowa came out shooting in the second half, recording 59.1 percent (13-22) from the field. WVU led by as many as nine (52-43) with 10:43 remaining, but Iowa was able to come back using 22 free throws and four field goals down to the buzzer.
Iowa shot 46.2 percent (18-39) for the game, while WVU recorded a 29.2 field goal percentage (21-72), with three more field goals. Iowa was 84 percent accurate from the charity stripe, converting 42-of-50 attempts. WVU recorded 22 points from the line, shooting 75.9 percent (22-29). The Hawkeyes dominated the paint 24-18, but the Mountaineers took advantage of the 3-point line, making 6-of-28 attempts (21.4%). WVU limited Iowa to only one 3-pointer in five attempts.
Junior guard Taylor Palmer
emerged as WVU’s scoring and rebounding leader with 23 points and nine rebounds. Palmer added in a season-high five 3-pointers, dished out two assists and grabbed a steal. Christal Caldwell
recorded 17 points, including WVU’s only other three, and converted all six free throw attempts. Sophomore guard Linda Stepney
added seven points, three assists and two steals. A spark off the bench, sophomore Crystal Leary
chipped in eight points, five rebounds and two steals in 20 minutes. Behind Palmer’s game-leading nine rebounds, sophomore Averee Fields
pulled down a career-best eight rebounds.
WVU out-rebounded Iowa 41-39. The Mountaineers limited their turnovers to 15, while forcing 23 out of Iowa, including 10 steals. WVU’s bench contributed 15 points.
Palmer averaged 19.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game against LSU and Iowa to be named to the FIU Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament Team.
The West Virginia women’s basketball team will enter its third road game of a four-game stretch on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m., at Virginia.