I’ve been back one day and the Hawkeyes are 1-0. Coincidence, probably, but I’ll be here as long as Iowa keeps winning. That is my promise to BHGP.
Iowa advances to the quarterfinals in the Big Ten Tournament with their win over Purdue. The Hawkeyes will play third-seeded Rutgers as they attempt to advance to the semifinals and improve their seeding for the National Tourney. The game will once again be shown on FS2 around 8:00 (after the Indiana vs. Michigan State game).
Hawks defeat Purdue 83-72
The Hawkeyes advance thanks to an eleven point win over Purdue. The win was in doubt through three quarters as the Boilermakers managed to keep freshman Caitlin Clark “in check”. Through three quarters, the Hawkeyes were only up four points but a strong fourth quarter made the score look more comfortable than the game actually was.
While Clark struggled (and struggled is a figurative term as she scored 27 points) shooting just 8-21 on the day, junior Monika Czinano had a career game as she scored 38 points on 16-18 shooting. Purdue must have been seeing the ghost of Megan Gustafson in this one.
Czinano was one rebound short of a double-double but played a near perfect game offensively. While Clark took a few extra shots to get to her scoring average, she had no issues contributing elsewhere as she dished out nine assists and pulled down seven rebounds. Kate Martin only scored four points, but she contributed seven assists and seven rebounds as well. The Hawkeyes had 21 assists on their 30 baskets.
Next up: Rutgers
Iowa played Rutgers on New Years Eve and prevailed 90-84. Clark led the way with 28 points and was one of five Hawkeyes who scored in double figures. Leading Rutgers was guard Arella Guirantes who led all scorers with 38 points.
Rutgers is led by legendary coach C. Vivian Stringer, a former Hawkeye coach. Playing against her teams is always a challenge. The Scarlet Knights are riding a nine-game winning streak coming into the game against Iowa.
This will truly be a battle of wills as the Hawkeyes, the nation’s second leading scoring offense at 87.4 points per game, will want to push the pace against a Rutgers team that has held teams under 60 points in seven straight games.
This is a good matchup for Iowa and if they can continue to push the tempo and share the ball, they will have a good chance to advance to the semifinals.
The winner of the game will play the Indiana-Michigan State winner on Friday.
Hawks Currently Projected as a Tournament Qualifier
Iowa is currently projected as a seven seed in ESPN’s latest Women’s Bracketology. The win against Purdue should solidify that but another win could improve their seeding come Selection Sunday.