For the first time since 2008 the Iowa women’s basketball team won the Big Ten regular season championship Sunday knocking off the Michigan Wolverines. The game was the first sellout for a women’s game since 1988. Michigan got off to a hot start but the Hawkeyes have a habit of finishing quarters and halves strong. Here Gabby Marshall hits a three to end the first quarter.
There aren’t many things better in life than being a Hawkeye fan. That said, it often seems like we get our hopes up and then on the biggest stage our hopes go beneath the waves like a frozen Leonardo DiCaprio. This was not the case today. The Hawkeyes, led by the best men’s or women’s college basketball player Caitlin Clark, dismantled an excellent Wolverines team by a score of 104-80.
I have never seen a player take over a basketball game like Caitlin Clark. Clark had 38 points on an incredibly efficient day. She was 8 of 11 from three and 8 for 8 from the free throw line. She also had 6 rebounds, 11 assists, and just 2 turnovers. She is as fast and shifty with the basketball in transition as any woman who has played the game.
Michigan is an excellent offensive basketball team with great posts. Naz Hillmon is one of the best low post players in the Big Ten if not the country. Monika Czinano was tasked with slowing down Michigan’s interior game. Czinano battled defensively and collected four fouls. Addison O’Grady’s height was needed as she relieved Czinano and had three fouls of her own. Offensively Czinano had 19 points on 9 of 11 shooting from the field. A fellow BHGP blogger commented on how posts should be lining up at Coach Lisa Bluder’s door to play with Clark.
Gabby Marshall provided great heart and hustle grabbing a few steals and mixing it up physically. She ended the day with 14 points. McKenna Warnock had a quiet day as she was the recipient of some questionable calls, but it was huge to have Kylie Feuerbach, 7 points / 4 rebounds, and and Tomi Taiwo, 5 points, come off the bench to provide quality minutes.
Kate Martin is a security blanket. She does everything well and goes about her business. She is a winner. Martin had 8 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 blocks.
Iowa will get the 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament which runs March 2-6. Ohio State will get the 1 seed. Michigan has the 3 seed, and Maryland has the 4 seed. The official bracket will be announced at the end of the day once all of the Big Ten regular season games are completed. Buckle up, Hawk fans! This squad is so fun to watch. As always, Go Hawks!