The Hawkeye women’s team (9-3) finished a sweep of the state of Iowa by beating UNI at home by a score of 88-74. The Hawks beat Drake and Iowa State this year as well to win the mythical state title. It’s easy to take Caitlin Clark for granted, but we need to pause and realize just how dang good she is. Clark had 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Also of note, Iowa’s last victory made Hawkeye Coach Lisa Bluder the B1G’s all-time leader in victories in the women’s game. That’s incredible when you think about it. Also of note, Bluder knocked former Hawkeye C. Vivian Stringer from the top spot.
The Hawkeyes’ two-headed monster of Clark and Monika Czinano were rolling on Sunday. Czinano finished with 22 points and 6 rebounds. Czinano’s field goal percentage (6 for 14 - 43%) was not up to her shooting standards, but she was 10 of 11 from the free throw line.
Kate Martin played a solid game finishing with 9 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals. This was great news as in Iowa’s previous game Martin appeared to have suffered a severe injury. McKenna Warnock totaled 9 points, 5 boards, and 3 steals. Gabbie Marshall finished with 8 points.
Iowa’s bench, which consisted of Molly Davis, Addison O’Grady, Hannah Stuelke and Sydney Affolter combined to score 14 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 steals.
Affolter has provided a little extra spark and hustle to Iowa’s defense lately. Affolter played a little over 16 minutes; she took a few minutes from Kate Martin as Martin is coming off an injury.
In-state rivalries are typically a little closer contests than they maybe should be. This often is because of a few different reasons. First of all, many of these players are familiar with each other. They have faced each other in high school, on the AAU circuit, etc... Also, especially when an Iowa or Iowa State plays against Drake or UNI, the Bulldogs/Panthers often have something to prove as the Hawkeyes or Cyclones maybe didn’t recruit some of these student-athletes. As a comparison, Iowa Football is basically built on players having a chip on their shoulder or they feel like they have something to prove. Last year’s Iowa team, a 2 seed, was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament by Creighton and former Hawkeye Lauren Jensen. Being on the losing end of this hurts, but this is also what makes athletics so special.
A few other items of note for the UNI game:
The Hawkeyes were outrebounded by the Panthers 42-35. This is not acceptable if Iowa wants to make a run in the NCAA tournament.
Iowa held UNI to 26.7% from the 3 point line. The game of basketball has turned into a 3 point shooting game. Contesting 3 point shots and collecting long rebounds has become the name of the game in basketball at all levels.
The Hawkeyes’ free throw percentage has dipped a little bit this year. The Hawkeyes were excellent on Sunday, however. The Hawks hit 28 of 31 (90.3%).
The Hawkeyes will finish off their non-conference slate as they host Dartmouth on December 21st at 2pm. The game will be televised on BTN+ and on the Hawkeye Radio Network.
As always, Go Hawks!