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Iowa Women’s Basketball: Hawkeyes Head to Madison

Hawks lost a close one to OSU. Badgers and Wolverines on deck.

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Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Hawks lose to Ohio State

Coach Lisa Bluder’s squad lost a close home game to Ohio State on the last day of January. There were some pretty pivotal calls by officials (of course, it feels like the outcomes of 10% of college basketball games can be attributed to the referees) that helped sway the outcome in favor of the Buckeyes.

Caitlin Clark is single-handedly changing the perception of women’s college basketball. It seems that every week Clark is grabbing national headlines for her play.

Iowa fell to 14-5 on the season and 8-2 in the Big Ten. Clark had 43 points, 4 rebounds, and 7 assists against the Buckeyes.

Clark is such a tough matchup as she has good handles, she can shoot from deep, and she is quick and has good length when it comes to finishing. She did turn the ball over more than she has on the year with seven turnovers. Monika Czinano had another extremely productive, efficient game. Czinano was 11-13 from the field for 23 points. Czinano is shooting a scorching 67% on the year in conference games. She also grabbed nine rebounds. Czinano is currently averaging 6.6 rebounds a game. One of the areas she needed to improve this season was her rebounding numbers. Last year she averaged 5.8 boards a game. The Hawkeyes continue to allow opposing teams to get open looks and score the basketball at a high rate. As fans it is easy for us to complain about officials’ calls, but if a team plays better defense and gets stops, they will win.

Next Up: Wisconsin

The Hawkeyes take on Wisconsin (5-15) tonight in Madison at 6:30pm. It’s not a surprise but the Badgers are considerably better on their home court. The Badgers are not a good shooting team (29% from 3), nor are they a good rebounding team (-6 differential). Wisconsin’s best two players are both junior guards. Julie Pospislova (6’0”) is averaging 14.3 points and 3.8 rebounds. Sydney Hilliard (5’11”) 12.8 points and 4.7 rebounds. This is a good matchup for the Hawkeyes. Look for Iowa to feed Monika Czinano in the post. This will open up inside-out wide-open looks from 3.

Huge Sunday Matchup (Michigan)

If the Hawks take care of business against the Badgers it sets up a pivotal game this Sunday, February 6th against first place Michigan (19-2, 10-1). This game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. The Iowa women’s team is becoming must-see-TV. Michigan’s NET ranking is 13 while the Hawkeyes’ is 23. The NET ranking replaced the RPI a few years ago. When the calendar turns to February, college basketball fans start looking forward to March Madness. A win at Michigan would go a long way in improving Iowa’s seeding. The Wolverines have one of the best players in the Big Ten in Naz Hillmon. Hillmon is averaging 20 points and 9 rebounds a game. The Hawks need to continue to put together as many consecutive stops on the defensive end as possible. As always, Go Hawks!