Before we get into this week’s contests and big news out of Iowa City, let’s not forget that your Iowa Hawkeyes (22-5/14-2) went 2-0 last week. Iowa hosted Wisconsin and to some may have seemed inhospitable beating the Badgers 91-61. Sorry (not really), Bucky. Coach Lisa Bluder’s squad then went on the road and beat Nebraska by a score of 80-60. Nebby tears are some of the best, no?
For the Hawkeyes the usual suspects stood out once again. Caitlin Clark (NPOY) played less than 29 minutes and had 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 8 assists (for the people who criticize her, she had just 3 turnovers).
Monika Czinano had 19 points and 6 boards. McKenna Warnock had 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists. Freshman Hannah Stuelke had 9 and 7.
The Hawkeyes won the rebounding battle 33-24. Also, the Hawks shot 42.9% from three while the Badgers shot just 26.7% from range. The game has become getting a hand in shooters’ faces and tracking down long rebounds.
Nebraska sold the game out. It’s a “Caitlin Clark thing” even if Nebby fans don’t think so. Where Caitlin goes, people show. Dang, that has a nice ring to it! Maybe some shirts to be made there. Clark had 30 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 turnovers.
Clark leads the nation in assists. A special shout out to the troll on Twitter who mentioned that Clark doesn’t pass. Sigh... The other half of the Clark and Czinano law firm had 20 points and 7 rebounds. Monika Czinano is fourth in the NCAA shooting 67.3% from the field. Kate Martin had 10 points and 6 assists. Nebraskan Taylor McCabe played almost six minutes and hit a three for the home state folks. She will almost assuredly take a big leap next year and be the Hawkeye’s most consistent (highest percentage) threat from beyond the arc. The Hawkeyes lost the rebounding advantage, but they outshot the Huskers from deep. Iowa was 10—20 (50%) while Nebraska was 7-33 (21.2%). That was the difference. In a one-and-done scenario, Coach Bluder will want every “T” crossed and every “I” dotted. One way to shore this up is to value every defensive possession and win the battle on the boards. Your shots aren’t always going to go in, but your defense and rebounding should/could be constants.
Marshall and Martin Returning
It was announced that Gabbie Marshall and Kate Martin are going to run it back. This season has not yet ended, but next year is more than likely Caitlin Clark’s final year as a Hawkeye (some have mentioned that with NIL she would make more money than playing in the WNBA), and if the Hawks develop their returning posts or get a portal transfer, next year could be special as well. Marshall and Martin have started a ridiculous number of games for the Hawkeyes, and getting them back will be better than bringing in almost any recruit or transfer.
McKenna Warnock said she would not be returning for another year and that she is applying to Iowa’s dental school and hopes to get in. Ummmm, let her in. Please and thank you. Warnock has been a very good player for the Hawkeyes. She has hit some big shots, played good defense, and she’s a sneaky-good rebounder.
Maryland and Indiana To Finish Off the Regular Season
Tonight the Hawkeyes travel to eighth-ranked Maryland at 7pm. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins 96-82 February 2nd in Iowa City. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network. It will also be available on the Hawkeye Radio Network.
On Sunday, February 26th the Hawkeyes host #2 Indiana (26-1). ESPN Gameday will be in Iowa City for this historic contest. The game tips off at 1pm and will be televised by ESPN. The Hawkeyes lost to Indiana on the road by a score of 87-78. The Hawkeyes couldn’t shoot and turned the ball over in front of a hostile crowd. I like our chances, but Indiana is a very good team with an excellent post and some terrific shooters.
Last year the Hawkeyes won the regular season Big Ten title as well as the Big Ten tournament. We then lost in the second round. I’d like to win them all, but I’d trade success over the next week or so for a long run in the NCAA tournament (One Shining Moment?!?).
It’s great to be a Hawkeye. Go Hawks!