All things are back to normal for the Iowa women’s basketball team. Coming off an Illinois loss, the 16th-ranked Hawkeyes were once again on the road, this time visiting number 14 Michigan. The Hawks (12-4/4-1) took care of business taking down the Michigan Wolverines (13-3/3-2) by a score of 94-85. The game marked the first time that B1G women’s basketball was aired on FOX. It’s almost not hyperbole, but Caitlin Clark is single-handedly advancing the women’s game. What did Clark do? She played almost 38 minutes, scored 28 points, grabbed eight boards, and had three assists. The Hawks went into the locker room at halftime fueled by this Clark three. Caitlin is practically unguardable as the defense needs to honor her dribble drive. A quick crossover and deep pull-up jumper and the Hawks were rolling.
Another Hawkeye who had a tremendous game was super-senior post, Monika Czinano. Czinano was her efficient self, going seven for nine from the field and five for five from the free throw line. She ended with 19 points, five rebounds, and a career high eight assists. Getting the ball into the post puts pressure on the defense and allows cutters and wide-open inside-out three point opportunities.
McKenna Warnock shot the basketball extremely well, again. Warnock was four for six from deep and two for two from the line. McKenna has shot a blistering 13 of 18 over the last four games from downtown. Warnock finished with 14 points. Kate “Swiss Army Knife” Martin’s toughness was on display once again. Martin makes everyone around her better. She finished in double digits with ten points.
Iowa’s freshman Hannah Stuelke continues to trend upwards; Stuelke runs the floor in this highlight and is rewarded by a nice assist from Caitlin Clark.
In less than 12 minutes, Stuelke had nine points, four rebounds, and a steal. Look for her minutes to increase as the season progresses. In 15 games the true freshman is averaging 5.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. As a comparison, I see Stuelke making a similar leap that Keegan Murray made between his freshman and sophomore year. Murray averaged 7.2 points as a freshman, and then he exploded on the scene scoring 23.5 points his sophomore year. Stuelke provides a nice combination of size and athleticism. Stuelke will need to make strides shooting the basketball this offseason. She is shooting a solid 58% from the field, but she is shooting just 17% from three and 47% from the free throw line.
- The Hawkeyes are tied for second place with Illinois and Maryland at 4-1 in the B1G. Ohio State is 16-0 / 5-0.
- The Hawks won for the first time at the Crisler Center since the 2013-14 campaign.
- The Hawkeyes were a little careless with the ball, committing 17 turnovers. Sometimes being able to score the basketball becomes a curse as “one possession” doesn’t always have the same importance as say a team that struggles to score. The basketball is gold; March is filled with one-possession games.
- Iowa outrebounded the Wolverines by one. The Hawks more often than not come out on top when they win the rebounding battle. In Iowa’s four losses, the Hawkeyes have been outrebounded by 4 rebounds per game.
Next Up: Northwestern
The Hawkeyes host Northwestern (6-8 / 0-4) this Wednesday, January 11th at 6:30pm (BTN+/Hawkeye Radio Network). First and foremost, the Wildcats have a terrific coach. Joe McKeown coaches his student-athletes up and they compete, especially on the defensive end. The Wildcats are led by 6’3” Caileigh Walsh (12.3 ppg/4.8 rpg) and 5’11” Sydney Wood (11.6 ppg/5.1 rpg). In order to compete for another conference title, the Hawkeyes will need to win the games they are “supposed” to win. This will be one such contest. Last year the Wildcats knocked off the Hawks in Iowa City by a score of 77-69. Caitlin Clark will have a little extra motivation stuck in her craw over that one.
As always, Go Hawks!