The Iowa women’s basketball team is set to tipoff against Minnesota Wednesday, January 6. The Hawkeyes (7-1, 3-1) host the Gophers (2-4, 1-3) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in a 6pm game. Iowa has won two consecutive Big Ten games, beating Rutgers 90-84 and Illinois 107-68. The Hawkeyes are ranked fourth nationally, averaging 92.1 points per game. That’s not a typo. That’s a whole bunch of points, especially considering Coach Bluder’s squad has already played 4 Big Ten Conference games which tend to be lower scoring as the coaches and players are often stronger than in non-conference, and more familiar with each other.
That’s the heading. She has already earned the right to get her own headings. Clark has earned the Big Ten Conference Freshman of the Week award 5 times this season (the Hawkeyes have played 5 weeks) as well as the Player of the Week two times. Clark is averaging 26.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 6.5 assists, and she is shooting 85% from the free throw line. Those numbers are staggering for a 5th year senior; for someone who has played 8 college games? Get outta here!
Key Players and Stats
In addition to Caitlin Clark, the Hawkeyes have an excellent, young team. Monika Czinano (6-3 center) patrols the paint, averaging 19.4 ppg and 4.8 rpg.
McKenna Warnock is averaging 15 ppg and 8.6 rpg. Warnock is shooting a ridiculous 53% from 3 on the year. As a team the Hawkeyes are shooting an excellent 39% from 3 and over 79% from the free throw line.
Televised Games are Coming!
The Hawkeyes are getting attention locally and nationally. The 1/9 game against 22nd ranked Northwestern (6pm) and the 1/13 game against 6th ranked Ohio State (3pm) will both be televised by the Big Ten Network. This is well-deserved and overdue. Let’s get Hawk Nation behind this squad and show them some support.
There’s no pig involved in this one, but when a fan base chants “Who hates Iowa?” when they aren’t playing Iowa... it gets pretty easy to dislike them. Living up in the Twin Cities you know I represent my Hawkeye people almost every day with my Hawkeye attire. I haven’t had a lengthy conversation with a fellow Hawk fan since yesterday at Cub Foods. Not sure how he knew I was a Hawkeye with my gold Iowa sweatshirt, Hawkeye hat, and Hawkeye mask. Anyway, back to the rodents. Lindsay Whalen is synonymous with basketball in Minnesota. She achieved unparalleled success playing for the Gophers and Lynx. The Gophers are not playing particularly well, but the cliche of playing a rival is not really a cliche. The Hawks will get the Goph’s best shot. Minnesota is not a particularly great shooting team, hitting on only 29% from 3. They do have balanced scoring as their starters average 16, 14, 13, 9, and 9. The Gophers are giving up 81 points per game. I would look for the Hawks to hit the 100 mark. Coach Whalen is no P.J. Fleck, so no one has to worry about Coach Bluder going Kirk Ferentz with her time outs at the end of the game. Classic.
Let’s Go Hawks!
It would easy for this to be a trap game, especially since there has been some buzz about Iowa’s upcoming televised games against ranked opponents. This won’t be the case with a rival. If the Hawks defend, it’s over somewhat quickly as Coach Bluder’s squad is going to get buckets.