The Big Ten Tourney gets underway for the women starting today in Indianapolis. Thanks to the success of their efforts in conference play, Iowa earned a double-bye and will play the winner of Ohio State-Minnesota-Penn State around 8:00 p.m. on Friday on BTN.
Iowa comes into the tournament with a 23-6 record but are coming off a loss to Rutgers in their final game of the regular season.
The Hawkeyes are led by senior guard Kathleen Doyle, recently named Big Ten Player of the Year. Doyle is averaging 18.2 points and 6.4 assists per game. In addition to Doyle, Iowa has two other players averaging double figures as sophomore post player Monika Czinano is averaging 15.6 points a game and is leading the country with a 69.9% field goal average. Fellow senior guard, Makenzie Meyer is a great compliment to Doyle with her sharp shooting from behind the line. Meyer has made 75 three-pointers on the season as she averages 14.4 points per game.
Watch for big contributions from senior Amanda Ollinger who leads the team with 8.6 rebounds per game and has 55 blocks on the season. Finally, freshman McKenna Warnock has been coming on strong lately as she is averaging 11.2 points per game over the last five games.
Iowa would seem to have a favorable draw in the tourney as they won’t have to play Maryland until the finals. Maryland, as you remember, gave Iowa their worst loss of the season three weeks ago as they defeated the Hawkeyes 93-59 in College Park, MD. Iowa was able to defeat Maryland at home early in the season 66-61, but the Terrapins look dangerous right now.
After the Big Ten Tourney comes the NCAA Championships. At the latest NCAA Top-16 reveal this past Monday, Iowa was a #4 seed, the #13 overall seed in the field. If that holds through the Big Ten tourney, Iowa will get a first and second round home game in the tournament.
Final Regular Season Stats Leader
Points Per Game: Kathleen Doyle (18.2)
Three Pointers Made: Makenzie Meyer (71)
Field Goal % (min 75% games played): Monika Czinano (69.9%)
Free Throw % (min 75% games played): Tomi Taiwo (90.0%), Makenzie Meyer (83.7%)
Rebounds Per Game: Amanda Ollinger (8.6)
Assists: Kathleen Doyle (185)
Steals: Kathleen Doyle (50)
Blocks: Amanda Ollinger (55)