Iowa 60, St. John's 52

FREEPORT, Bahamas -- Samantha Logic gave Iowa a glimpse of a bright future despite a tough early season loss.

The Hawkeyes lost to No. 5 Texas A&M 74-58 on Saturday, but their 5-foot-9 freshman guard had 16 points and nine rebounds, including five offensive boards in the Lucaya Division championship game at the Junkanoo Jam.

Sydney Carter led A&M with 21 points, including 17 in the first half. Adaora Elonu added 13 points for the defending national champs and Kelsey Bone scored 12 points, 10 in the second half.

"I thought Sam Logic competed out there. She looked like she belonged," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "She wanted it, and I like that mentality out of a freshman. She just hustles. She never stops. You love a kid who's diving for loose balls and trying to create situations and not backing down as a freshman.

"She's going against a couple all-Americans, Carter and Bone, and she's in there battling away."

Logic hit 7 of 15 from the field and 2 of 2 free throws for her 16 points.

"I just think that I try to bring intensity to the court, whether it's offensive rebounding, or defense," Logic said. "At any point, I just try to bring it and take advantage of whatever the other team gives me."

Iowa (4-2) hosts Virginia Tech on Wednesday, and the Aggies enter a challenging stretch with a game against No. 15 Purdue on Dec. 4, followed by a visit to No. 2 Connecticut on Dec. 6.

Carter hit 6 of 16 shots and 9 of 10 free throws, adding four steals and four assists to earn MVP honors.

Texas A&M forced 25 turnovers, while only turning the ball over 13 times.

"I thought the first five minutes of the game, we handled their pressure pretty good," Bluder said. "I think we lost the game in the first four minutes of the second half. You just can't let them get on rolls and get those easy buckets like they did."

Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said that pressure defense has been a critical weapon for the Aggies.

"When we play teams who have never played us, or are not in our league, the press seems to bother them more, because not a lot of teams want to be pressed," Blair said. "Usually the best way to beat a pressing team is to press us back. Nobody does it. Connecticut will. What a road trip that's going to be."

Carter's 17-point first-half effort enabled Texas A&M to take a 36-27 lead into the break. The 5-foot-6 senior used her quickness to slice through the Hawkeyes' defense, either cashing in on transition drives or picking up points at the stripe, where she was 7 of 8 in the first 20 minutes.

"I was just attacking the basket," Carter said. "I noticed that they were kind of closing out and they were already playing me for the shot. I was just making sure I was doing a good job of attacking the basket. If they took that away, then I was going to dish to my teammates."

Led by Carter, Texas A&M turned up the defensive heat to open the second half and hit the Hawkeyes with a 10-2 run to forge a 48-32 lead with 15:26 left in the game. The Aggies were up 55-34 with 13:30 left in the game after Elonu hit a driving layup as she was fouled and converted the 3-point play.

Up to that point, the Hawkeyes were 3 of 8 with seven turnovers in their first 15 possessions of the second half, getting outscored 19-7 during that stretch.

"That's a part of me maturing and being the veteran that I am," Carter said of taking the focus off of her scoring and setting up her teammates. "It's important to get my teammates involved. Me having a good first half really opened it up for my teammates in the second half. I'm not a selfish player at all. Getting my teammates involved is really what we need. We have a balanced team and everybody can score."

Blair said that the Aggies feed off Carter's intensity.

"I asked my team, what happens when Carter goes?" he said. "Who is ready to take on that burden. She makes the rest of us, because Tyra (White) was really nonexistent in the whole tournament, and she's pre-season All-American, Wooden Award nominee, but all of the sudden, it's Carter.

"Carter is not waiting for things to happen, she's making things happen, against the zone or the man, the smallest kid on the court is going to throw her body in there. She also has to guard the other team's best player."