Coming off a loss to No. 2 Indiana on the highway, the No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes got here again house to tackle the Rutgers Scarlet Knights within the first of their remaining three house video games of the season. With a Large Ten title hanging within the stability and a No. 1 seed within the NCAA Match up for grabs, the Hawkeyes know that each recreation from this level on is a must-win no matter who they’re taking part in.
Proper from the beginning, they wasted no time and received out working. A gap layup by Kate Martin, a 3 from Caitlin Clark and two free throws by Monika Czinano gave them a 7-0 lead.
However because the quarter reached the midway level, the Scarlet Knights have been taking part in with extra reckless abandon than most had anticipated. They’d go on a 7-2 run earlier than coming inside a basket at 9-7. All seven of these factors have been scored by freshman guard Kaylene Smikle.
It was a back-and-forth battle with Iowa holding on to to a slight lead, however the Rutgers protection working tirelessly to attempt to stifle the Hawkeyes’ extremely explosive offense with added stress and double-teaming Clark on the high of the important thing each probability they received. With 4:43 left within the first, the Hawkeyes led 12-10.
After a full day trip, Clark would delegate as solely she will be able to. She would discover Hannah Stuelke beneath the basket on a quick break for a layup after which discover an open Molly Davis for 3. She was solely simply starting as she appeared to Czinano inside and thus the Hawkeyes have been up 19-10.
The ultimate levels of the primary had loads of hustle and bustle being demonstrated by each side. Iowa was the plain higher workforce, however Rutgers was holding its personal with tenacious protection and a few efficient offensive strikes to maintain the sport inside affordable attain.
However it was Davis who would set up the Hawkeyes’ general dominance in essentially the most dramatic manner attainable to finish the quarter. She watched the clock tick down after which when the time was hers, she took a solo drive to the basket, let it float, and with a pleasant rim put the Hawkeyes up 29-18.
Davis had eight factors after one. Czinano had seven and Clark had six.
The second quarter noticed the Hawkeyes come alive and it was their protection that was the spark. They crashed the boards and intercepted the passing lanes, resulting in steals by Clark and Steukle. Because of this, they went on an 8-0 run and with 8:09 left, they led 37-18.
On the 6:00 mark, it was McKenna Warnock who received them to a 20-point lead (44-24) off a feed from Clark.
Clark was doling out assists left and proper as she was completely content material with 10 factors on the mid-point of the second quarter. Her stellar 20/20 imaginative and prescient of the courtroom allowed her to do wonders with the ball, together with an epic bounce go from mid-court to Davis for a straightforward two factors.
On the 4:47 mark, Iowa led 49-24.
The Hawkeyes would go on to placed on an offensive clinic for the rest of the half and would outscore the Scarlet Knights 31-10 within the second quarter to guide 60-28.
Davis had a tremendous first half as she was a important issue on the offensive finish. She scored 13 factors, was dealing with the ball effectively and adopted Clark’s lead when it comes to having the ability to direct the offense to create alternatives.
The third quarter felt extra as if the Hawkeyes have been in a position to take off the stress. That they had constructed such an impenetrable lead that that they had nothing actually to fret about and so they may simply play for the enjoyable of it, whereas sustaining that fire-at-will angle. They largely took their time on offense and have been content material with setting one thing up somewhat than pushing the ball up.
Their protection put in simply the correct amount of depth.
The relaxed strategy put them in the direction of a 50-point lead with nonetheless a whole quarter to play. It was Stuelke who received them there (86-36) with a layup that might give her 10 factors.
In the meantime, the reserve gamers received their probability to shine and one particularly got here by means of in epic vogue. Freshman guard Taylor McCabe placed on a spotlight reel with two three pointers that received the bench in a frenzy and would make her the fifth Hawkeye to succeed in double figures. She had 12 factors and the Hawkeyes led 97-42 going into the ultimate quarter.
The Hawkeyes performed collectively as a workforce with super pleasure after enduring a tricky loss with the postseason arising quickly. A whopping 111-57 win gave the Hawkeyes a brand new faculty document for factors scored, their twentieth win of the season and their tenth consecutive house victory relationship again to Dec. 7.
Davis completed with a game-high 17 factors to go together with two rebounds and two assists. Clark had 15 factors, a game-high 10 assists and 4 rebounds. Czinano had 15 factors and 5 rebounds. McCabe had 12 factors and two rebounds. Stuelke had 10 factors and 5 rebounds.
Clark completed with a double-double in solely twenty minutes of play. Additionally, each Hawkeye managed to attain.
Afterwards, Davis walked by means of her technique to get off that final shot to finish the primary quarter.
“We have been working one in every of our end-of-shot clock performs,” she mentioned. “Normally they double Caitlin so I faked the ball to her and I noticed an open lane and took the floater and received a pleasant roll from the rim.”
Coach Lisa Bluder expressed optimism about the way forward for this system after witnessing the performances by Davis and McCabe.
“We have now super confidence in each of those younger girls together with a number of others that got here off the bench,” she mentioned. “Actually you may see what each of those ladies are able to doing. I’m all the time excited in regards to the future.”
Iowa (20-5, 12-2 Large Ten) will probably be again at house to tackle Wisconsin (8-18, 3-11 Large Ten) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET.