Indiana game postponed - Fallout from Inauguration Postponement, The Covid, etc...
The Iowa/Indiana game that was scheduled for Feb 21st will now be played March 3rd. Flexibility is one positive, I guess, we have learned from 2020-21.
Maryland - Not suitable for viewing for Hawkeye fans! At least if you like Defense.
Coach Lisa Bluder’s squad went on the road to face first place in the B1G and #8 Maryland in a noon game on 2/23. The Hawks ran into a buzzsaw. Holy smokes did Maryland come out of the gates firing. Coming into the game, Maryland was ranked #1 in the country in scoring and the Hawkeyes were #2. There were buckets and buckets of made baskets early on (pun intended). Caitlin Clark, she of the 11 Big Ten freshman of the week awards (soon to be renamed for her), did not disappoint. Clark drilled 12 of the Hawks’ first 15 points. Her first 4 baskets were deep 3’s that almost didn’t hit the net.
Here’s one of Clark’s 3’s that actually touched the rim.
Unfortunately for the Hawkeyes, Maryland scored 41 points in the first quarter. What? That can’t be?!!? Yep. It was ridiculous. I’m not a math guy, but that adds up to 164 points over the course of a game. That has to be approaching record-levels of points for a quarter. Note - the Big Ten record for a half of scoring is 69 points.
Maryland is athletic, can shoot, and is well-coached. It was the perfect storm and it got pretty ugly, at least from a defensive standpoint. The Terps deployed a trapping 3⁄4 - 1⁄2 court trapping press. The Hawkeyes were sloppy with the ball and floated some passes. That’s not going to cut it against a top-10 team. This one was technically over after the first quarter, although Coach Bluder’s team fought throughout, cutting the Terps’ lead to 14 in the fourth quarter. Caitlin Clark did her best to keep the Hawks in the game, notching 29 points in the first half and ending with 34. Clark set the Iowa freshman season scoring record with at least four regular season games remaining.
Clark ended the half 8-11 from 3. Katie Benzan for Maryland was 8/9 from three before the intermission. Bonkers! That’s great shooting from 4 feet from the basket, let alone WNBA range.
At the half it was Maryland 68 - Hawkeyes 51 - This was a blowout that actually stayed a ballgame because of insane shooting on the part of the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes got Monika Czinano involved in the second half. Czinano continues to shoot an uncanny percentage from the floor. Coming into the game she was ranked #1 in the country in field goal percentage at 67.1% Czinano went 7 for 7, ending up with 15 points. Caitlin Clark and Czinano run a little two person game here for 2 points.
Final Score: Maryland 111 Hawkeyes 93. The two teams combined for 32 3 point field goals.
The Hawkeyes have a quick turnaround with the Michigan Wolverines coming to Iowa City on Thursday, February 25th. This game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. 3:30pm game time. The Hawkeyes have not yet faced Michigan this season. After the Wolverines, the Hawkeyes travel to Wisconsin to take on the Badgers on Sunday, February 28th. It is a 2 pm tipoff on FS1. Iowa beat the Badgers earlier this year 85-78. I have been impressed with the competitive, high-scoring, skilled basketball we fans have been able to watch this season. It’s tremendous that the networks are showing more of these games.
The Hawkeyes are in a stretch of quite a few games in not a lot of days. As Hayden Fry would say, “Time to make hay.” Go Hawks!