Hawkeyes Make 31 of 40 Free Throws to Win Opener, 85-53

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Last season the University of Iowa women’s basketball team was 12th among all NCAA Division I teams with a 77.3 free throw percentage.
“We want to get the free throw line a lot, that’s part of what we’re trying to do,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said.
The Hawkeyes made 31 of 40 free throws in Thursday’s season-opening 85-53 win against Florida Atlantic in front of 3,334 on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa remains undefeated in 20 season openers under Bluder; it is the 22nd consecutive home win for the Hawkeyes.
“Our offense is designed to get us to the free throw line a lot and we got there a lot,” Bluder said. “When you shoot 40 free throws, you’re drawing a ton of fouls, but that’s not unusual with this offense.”
Iowa (1-0) closed the first quarter on a 10-0 run and added an 8-2 spurt before halftime to take a 38-29 lead.
Senior Kathleen Doyle scored a game-high 15 points, leading five Hawkeyes in double figures. Sophomore Monika Czinano scored 14, junior Alexis Sevillian had 12, freshman Gabbie Marshall added 11, and freshman McKenna Warnock posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Marshall scored eight points during the Hawkeyes’ 28-point fourth quarter.
“There are nerves that come with the first college game,” Marshall said. “After getting those two (early) fouls, my teammates encouraged me and kept me calm. I came back in the second half and finished strong.”
Iowa shot well from the line and from distance (8 of 22), outscoring the Owls 22-1 on fast break points and 31-11 off the bench.
“It’s always good to have that first game and kind of have that in your back pocket now. We don’t play for a week, so that’s a lot of time for us to work on things and get better.”
Iowa’s four freshmen, playing their first collegiate game, combined for 28 points and 14 rebounds. They were 8 of 9 from the line and 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
Doyle made two free throws with 2:35 left in the first quarter to give her 1,000 career points. She added eight more points and finished with a game-high 15.
“It is cool, but a lot of that is due to my teammates,” Doyle said.
Iowa remains home Nov. 14 against North Alabama with a 6:30 p.m. (CT) tip. The Lions defeated Virginia-Lynchburg, 128-26, on Thursday and host Mississippi Valley State on Saturday.