The Iowa women’s basketball team turned the ball over 14 times in the first 20 minutes and trailed by as many as 11.
The Hawkeyes needed a spark. They needed someone to catch fire.
Insert senior guard Jaime Printy, who buried six second-half 3-pointers and rallied the Hawkeyes from a halftime deficit to an 83-73 win in the championship game of the Maggie Dixon Surf ‘N Slam Classic in San Diego, Calif.
“It is definitely an important win for us because we wanted to go into the Big Ten season with a victory,” Printy said. “We now have won six straight games so that’s big for us.”
Printy finished with a school-record seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 33 points and was the difference in the game for the Hawkeyes, who turned it over just six times in the second half.
“We took care of the ball in the second half so that helps,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “Our team is smart enough to know where the water for the well is coming from. When someone is on a roll, you just need to keep giving her the ball.”
Morgan Johnson added 20 points, while sophomore Sam Logic had seven points and 10 assists in the win as the Hawkeyes ended the non-conference season at 11-3.
San Diego (8-4) got a strong performance from Amy Kame. Kame had 19 points in the first half and finished with 30 for Toreros, who led by 11 points with 9:11 to play in the first half.
San Diego also got a strong performance from its bench as Sophia Ederaine had 16 points and Katelyn McDaniel pitched in 10.
But nothing was stopping Printy. The former Linn-Mar hit trey after trey early in the second half to give Iowa a lead it would not relenquish. Printy canned four triples in the first 5 minutes of the second half and scored all but five of her 33 points in the second session.
“My teammates did a good job of getting me the ball, and the shots were falling for me tonight,” said Printy, who was 6-for-7 from 3-point range in the second half.
The Toreros scored 14 more points in the paint and had 22 points off Iowa’s 20 turnovers, but the Hawkeyes were 11-for-18 from long range in the win.
Iowa shot 55 percent from the floor in the game and connected on 14-of-17 from the line. Printy was 6-for-6 from the charity stripe, while Johnson was 8-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the line.
Both Johnson and Printy were named to the all-Tournament team. Johnson also was named Tournament Most Valuable Player.
Iowa will next play in the Big Ten Conference opener at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game can be seen on the Big Ten Network.