Hawkeyes Hammer Down for 102-50 win over NC Central

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Cy-Hawk hangover? Hardly.
Three days after winning its fourth straight game against Iowa State, the University of Iowa women’s basketball team surpassed the century mark with a 102-50 victory over North Carolina Central on Saturday in front of 4,262 on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
It is the third win in a row for the Hawkeyes, who improved to 8-2 overall. North Carolina Central is 1-9.
Iowa had four players score in double figures and had 32 assists on 37 made field goals. Senior Makenzie Meyer led the way with 19 points, powered by a 4 of 6 performance from 3-point range. Sophomore Monika Czinano scored 14 points, followed by senior Kathleen Doyle with 13 and freshman Gabbie Marshall with 11.
The Hawkeyes made 13 of 22 from distance, their most 3-point field goals in a game since making 13 against Western Kentucky on Nov. 13, 2018. Iowa shot 69.8 percent from the field (37 of 53), the best percentage in a game in school history.
“Coaches love practicing, and players love to play games,” said Doyle, who had a game-high nine assists and five rebounds. “It was fun to get back in front of our fans and it was something fun to do on a Saturday afternoon.”
Paulina Afriyie led the Eagles with 10 points and seven rebounds.
“I’m pleased with our team performance. This was sandwiched between two in-state rivalry games and the beginning of finals, and it’s easy to lose your focus in those two situations. We didn’t.
“The other thing I was pleased with is that we kept the hammer down. We didn’t let up, we kept going, no matter what.”
The Hawkeyes outscored North Carolina Central, 43-16, in bench points. Leading the way off the bench for Iowa was Marshall with 11 points, freshman McKenna Warnock with nine, and freshman Kate Martin with eight. The trio combined to make 10 of 14 field goals (5 of 8 from 3-point range) with nine rebounds.
“You want to give your bench confidence and it gained a little bit of that today,” Bluder said. “I loved the intensity we kept throughout that game. That is not always easy to do. I’m happy with that and excited for our bench players to be able to go out and get that 100th point.”
Doyle’s nine assists gives her 61 on the season and 578 for her career. She moved past Cara Consuegra (1997-2001) into second on Iowa’s leaderboard for assists in a career. The record is held by Sam Logic with 898 assists from 2012-15.
“It’s fun setting my teammates up, so (assists are) something I take pride in,” Doyle said.
With 48 seconds left in the third quarter, Makenzie Meyer’s 3-point field goal put the Hawkeyes ahead, 79-35. The assist was from her sister, freshman Megan Meyer.
“It is a moment we have been looking forward to for a while,” Makenzie said. “We haven’t had that opportunity since high school, so it was cool and we both had big smiles on our faces. We’ll remember that.”
The Hawkeyes wrap up the nonconference portion of the regular season Dec. 21 against Drake with a 6 p.m. (CT) tip. The Bulldogs are 7-2 and play at Oklahoma on Dec. 17.