Iowa junior center Morgan Johnson had a career game and the Hawkeyes set a school record from the free throw line on Saturday.
And still lost the game.
Johnson finished with 37 points, eight rebounds and four blocks and Iowa was 27-of-30 from the foul line, but the host Bradley Braves got 31 points from Kelsey Budd and four others scored in double figures during the 96-88 home win.
“Morgan played very well for us tonight, and she did a good job of altering their defenses,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “But as good as Morgan was, Kelsey Budd was just as good for Bradley.”
The Braves got 52 points from their bench and combined to hit 13-of-22 from long range. Budd was 12-for-14 from the floor, 5-of-6 from long range and added six rebounds and four steals.
“Tonight, she couldn’t miss,” Bluder said of Budd. She was in that zone. Their whole team shot 60 percent from 3-point land. If they continue to play like that and shoot like that, they’ll do very well in the Valley.”
Johnson set career highs in points (37), field goals made (13), free throws attempted (12) and free throws made (11). But the only other Hawkeye in double figures was point guard Kamille Wahlin, who scored 18 points and had six assists and four boards.
Junior All-American Jaime Printy was held to just seven points on 3-of-10 shooting. Printy did have seven assists and five steals though. Freshman Sam Logic added five points, five rebounds and five assists, senior Kelly Krei scored seven points and had eight rebounds and freshman Melissa Dixon contributed eight points off the bench.
Bradley, on the other hand, was much more balanced and got a much better effort from its starters.
Budd scored her 31 off the bench but played 30 minutes in the game. Iowa native and former Des Moines East standout Shronda Butts scored 18 points, pulled down three rebounds and had four assists but was just 5-of-14 from the floor.
Bradley also got 14 points from Catie O’Leary, Katie Yohn added 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Leah Kassing scored 10 and had 10 boards.
The difference in the game came from the 3-point line where Bradley was 13-of-22 and Iowa was just 3-of-15. So defense continues to be Iowa’s biggest Achilles heal so far this season.
“We have to cover shooters better, we have to get our hands up in the zone and we have to close out better on the shooters,” Bluder said. “There’s a lot of things we could have done better, but credit Bradley, they put the ball in the hole tonight.”
Iowa is now 6-5 on the season, while Bradley improves to 8-3. The Hawkeyes will have a short turnaround as they play host to Drake at 7 p.m. Tuesday night. The Bulldogs are 4-4 but are riding a three-game winning streak, including a victory at Wisconsin. Drake lost to Iowa State by seven points earlier this season.