By JAMES ALLAN
AMES, Iowa — Seniors Kathleen Doyle, Makenzie Meyer, and Amanda Ollinger stayed perfect in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.
The University of Iowa trio was instrumental in leading the Hawkeyes to a 75-69 victory over Iowa State — its fourth straight win in the series — Wednesday night inside Hilton Coliseum.
“I am happy for the outcome and am happy for our three seniors that went 4-0 against Iowa State in their careers,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder. “That is something because of the respect we have for this program.
“It hasn’t happened for 30 years, so it’s a big deal. We’re going to enjoy it.”
Doyle led the Hawkeyes with 21 points, making 5-of-14 field goals and 10-of-12 free throws. Meyer finished with 18 points, making 6-of-10 field goals and sank three 3-pointers, and Ollinger was a monster on the boards, grabbing a career-high 20 rebounds.
Iowa also got a 20-point effort from sophomore Monika Czinano. The forward made 9-of-17 field goals in 33 minutes.
The Cyclones built a 14-8 lead in the first nine minutes of the game before Iowa answered with a 13-1 run, fueled by 3-pointers from McKenna Warnock, Meyer, and Tomi Taiwo. The Hawkeyes pushed their lead to as many as nine before taking a 36-29 advantage into the break.
Iowa State closed the gap to four points early in the third quarter before Iowa used a Doyle 3-pointer and an Ollinger steal and layup to stretch the lead back to nine at 45-36. It was Ollinger’s only field goal in the game.
The Cyclones grabbed the momentum by scoring 12 of the final 15 points to close out the third quarter to tie the game at 48. It was short-lived.
Iowa went to Czinano on back-to-back possessions to start the fourth to take a 52-48 lead and Taiwo’s 3-pointer — her third of the game — stretched the lead to 55-48 with 7:51 left to force a Cyclone timeout.
Meyer’s 3-ball with 5:07 left extended Iowa’s advantage to nine (62-53) with 5:07 left and the Hawkeye lead climbed to a game-high 10 points when Doyle hit 1-of-2 free throws with 4:11 to play.
Iowa State fought back to within four points with 1:28 remaining on two Ashley Joens free throws, but Iowa scored a key field goal when Czinano beat the shot clock with a layup with 44 seconds to play to extend the lead to 68-62.
Iowa made 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute, sending the senior class to their second straight triumph in Hilton.
“Wins at Hilton come few and far between,” said Meyer. “It’s special for us to get two wins here at Hilton. It feels good.”
The Hawkeyes shot 43.3 percent and made eight 3-pointers in the game, while limiting Iowa State to 31.9 percent shooting and a 4-of-20 effort from 3-point range. The Cyclones were +10 on the glass (48-38) and had a six-point advantage at the free throw stripe.
Joens posted a double-double, leading all scorers with 26 points to go along with 12 rebounds, but she was just 7-of-20 from the field.
TT FOR 3
Taiwo entered Hilton Coliseum making 1-of-6 attempts for the season from behind the 3-point arc. The Indiana native gave the Hawkeyes a lift, making 3-of-4 field goals and all three 3-point attempts in 17 minutes to score a career-high nine points.
“She was so cool about it all, that’s what made it so fun,” said Bluder. “She only made one coming into the game. We see it in practice every day. I was talking to my staff (before the game) saying I can’t believe Tomi is not shooting the ball better from 3-point range because she’s such a good 3-point shooter.”
20… TWENTY… REBOUNDS
Ollinger was held to a season-low two points at Iowa State, but she more than made up for it on the glass. The birthday girl pulled in a career-high 20 rebounds, besting her previous career-high of 13.
“I knew my role and sometimes the ball falls your way and that’s how it was for me,” said Ollinger. “My teammates hyped me up. They keep me going and crashing even if you can’t feel your legs at times.”
– The Hawkeyes now lead the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series, 9-6, courtesy of wins in football, women’s soccer, wrestling, and women’s basketball.
– It is the first time Iowa has rattled off four straight wins in the series since winning eight straight from 1984-1997.
– Iowa’s reserves out-scored its Iowa State counterparts, 14-2.
– The Hawkeyes finished with nine blocks — four from Ollinger — in the game.
The Hawkeyes return to action Saturday, hosting North Carolina Central at 2 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.