By DARREN MILLER
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team played catch-up most to the day before falling to Washington, 70-63, in the final game of the Puerto Rico Clasico on Saturday in Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Hawkeyes, who fell to 5-2. Washington (6-1) won its fifth straight game.
Senior guard Kathleen Doyle scored 17 points with seven rebounds and seven assists to lead Iowa. Sophomore center Monika Czinano added 15 points and seven boards (three offensive). Senior guard Makenzie Meyer scored 10 points with five rebounds.
The Hawkeyes scored just 20 points in the first half, then outscored Washington 43-41 in the second half.
“This team is not going to quit and I wouldn’t expect otherwise,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said.
Leading the way for Washington was Amber Melgoza with 20 points; she made 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“This was the game that was a good test for us. We didn’t pass this test with flying colors, but we grew. We’re getting better, our second half was better than our first half. That’s growth and that’s what we need.”
SECOND HALF IMPROVEMENT
Iowa shot 27 percent from the field in the first half (7 of 26) with 16 rebounds and 13 turnovers. In the second half, the Hawkeyes made 16 of 36 field goals (44 percent) with 18 rebounds and just six turnovers.
“We battled back, we won the second half,” Bluder said. “We did a better job on the boards in the second half, we did a better job taking care of the ball in the second half. The positives are that we didn’t quit and we kept fighting.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Iowa was outscored 27-9 in bench points. Freshman forward McKenna Warnock led the Hawkeye reserves with five points, two rebounds, an assist, and a steal in 17 minutes.
There were 45 turnovers in the game — 26 by Washington and 19 by Iowa. The Hawkeyes scored 23 points off turnovers, while the Huskies scored just nine points.
The Hawkeyes open a six-game month of December with the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday. Iowa faces Clemson on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game will be televised by BTN with an 8 p.m. (CT) tip.
Clemson is 2-4 prior to its game against Alcorn State on Saturday in the Daytona Beach Invitational.