Coach Lisa Bluder’s team came out after halftime and made hay during the 3rd quarter. The Hawkeyes knocked off number 10 Iowa State, 70-57, in front of a quality Carver Hawkeye crowd. It was billed as the Caitlin Clark vs Ashley Joens battle (and it certainly was) and after some slow shooting early on, the fans were treated to an exciting college rivalry.
Iowa State is an excellent basketball team. I had commented online that Iowa State would possibly be a favorite to win a 2-on-2 championship. Ashley Joens is a tenacious scorer and competitor and 6’6” Stephanie Soares is a very skilled, very tall presence in the middle. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and Monika Czinano would also be a nice tandem in the make-believe 2-on-2 competition. Caitlin Clark stuffed the stat sheet. It wasn’t Clark’s prettiest of games, but she ended with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals. Iowa is a better basketball team when Clark doesn’t have to score 40 points. Here is an inside-out 3 ball from Clark.
Monika Czinano had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Iowa did an excellent job of attacking the Cyclones’ interior when Soares was on the bench. The X factor last night was Kate Martin. The more I watch Martin the more I think she is the women’s version of Connor McCaffery. Both players are tough, smart leaders. In my opinion Martin needs to continue playing aggressively. It’s natural for players to defer to Caitlin Clark, but Iowa is a better team when they are more balanced. Martin tallied 13 points, grabbed 5 rebounds, 2 assists and did not turn the ball over.
A very underrated aspect of last night’s game was the play of Iowa’s backup post Addison O’Grady. Monika Czinano played a good game, but Iowa State’s Soares provided a tremendous challenge for the Hawkeyes. O’Grady played almost 12 minutes, had 6 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block. The 6’4” O’Grady has a little more size than Czinano and that helped. Iowa’s excellent third quarter included some quality minutes from O’Grady. This game provided excellent experience for O’Grady, and her continued development will be necessary for the Hawks to make a late-March run.
It is inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena as the Hawkeyes’ @addiogrady22 beats the buzzer! #NCAAWBB x @IowaWBBpic.twitter.com/cpyRZh6ubZ— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessWBB) December 8, 2022
- The Hawkeyes out-rebounded the Cyclones 40-34
- The Hawkeyes held Iowa State 27 points BELOW their season average; the Cyclones were averaging 84.3 points coming into the game
- Free throw shooting was one of the determining factors in the game. The Hawkeyes shot 90% and the Cyclones were 50% from the line
- The Iowa women have a better home atmosphere than the men
- McKenna Warnock’s plus/minus was +18; Caitlin Clark led the Hawks with +19
Gophers on Deck
Beating a tenth-ranked in-state rival was tremendous, but the Hawkeyes get back to the task at hand, repeating as B1G champions. The Hawkeyes host the Minnesota Gophers on Saturday. The game is at 8pm and can be found on the Big Ten Network as well as the Hawkeye Radio Network.
The Gophers are 5-4 on the young season. The Gophers are coming off an 80-74 loss to an excellent Kentucky team. The Gophers are a young, talented squad. They have five players averaging over double-figures.