By DARREN MILLER
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Now that’s a shooter’s mentality.
Despite missing its first 11 3-point field goal attempts, the University of Iowa women’s basketball team stayed confident, kept firing, and sank nine in the second half en route to a 69-61 victory over Cincinnati on Wednesday in the Puerto Rico Clasico in Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez.
Freshman Gabbie Marshall did the most damage from distance, making 3 of 6. Senior Makenzie Meyer and junior Alexis Sevillian added two 3-pointers, and freshman McKenna Warnock and senior Kathleen Doyle added one each.
The Hawkeyes improve to 4-1, Cincinnati falls to 3-3.
The win is No. 400 for head coach Lisa Bluder at the University of Iowa. In 20 seasons with the Hawkeyes, she is 400-218.
“I’m more thankful that I have had the opportunity to be at Iowa for 20 years,” Bluder said. “I am thankful that I have been able to coach the women I have coached and have the staff that I have and that we have support. Hawkeye fans are amazing and I’m thankful I get to coach at such a great university.”
Iowa made 9 of 13 field goals in the fourth quarter and finished by shooting 46 percent from the field (28 of 61). Sophomore center Monika Czinano was 7 of 8 from the field and senior forward Amanda Ollinger was 5 of 6. Czinano scored a team-high 16 points before fouling out. Doyle scored 13 points with eight rebounds and six assists and Ollinger added 10 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
Cincinnati led by seven points in the first half, but the Hawkeyes rallied late in the second quarter to take a 25-23 lead at the break.
Ilmar’I Thomas paced the Bearcats with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“This is a really good win. This is a Cincinnati team that is very good and hangs its hat on defense. This is the first time we have faced that kind of pressure all year and first time we have had to face a press all year.
“We handled those things. After the first quarter, we settled down and thank goodness our 3s started falling in the second half.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Iowa was 0 of 8 from 3-point range in the first half and missed its first 11 from distance. The Hawkeyes made 9 of 19 in the second half, accounting for 27 of their 44 second-half points.
“We were oh-fer at halftime and you want your shooters to keep believing in themselves, keep knowing the next one is in,” Bluder said. “We are a good 3-point shooting team; we didn’t show it the first half and I’m happy with the way they came back.”
Bluder will be pleased about 21 assists on 28 Hawkeye field goals. She won’t be pleased about Cincinnati’s 18-7 advantage on the offensive glass. The Bearcats were plus-10 in rebounding (46-36).
The Hawkeyes have a quick turn-around and will face Towson on Thanksgiving Day with an 11 a.m. (CT) tip. The Tigers are 2-3 and their first game at the Puerto Rico Clasico will be against Iowa. Last season, Towson won 20 games, including the Colonial Athletic Association Championships, before facing Connecticut in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.