By DARREN MILLER
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Powered by five starters playing at least 30 minutes and four of them scoring in double figures, the No. 18/19 University of Iowa women’s basketball team cruised to its ninth straight win, 77-66, over Penn State on Thursday in front of 1,657 in the Bryce Jordan Center.
Iowa played without starting center Monika Czinano, who is recovering from an ankle injury.
The Hawkeyes led by as many as 23 points and improved to 18-3 overall, 9-1 in the Big Ten. Penn State is 7-13, 1-9. The Nittany Lions have dropped six in a row.
Iowa senior Kathleen Doyle scored a game-high 23 points, with 14 coming in the second half. She also had eight assists. Also scoring in double figures for the Hawkeyes were freshman McKenna Warnock (16), junior Alexis Sevillian (15), and senior Makenzie Meyer (14). Senior Amanda Ollinger had nine rebounds.
“That’s so important for us to have that balanced scoring, because you are so much harder to guard when you have that,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said.
Iowa used a 19-2 run over the final 5:11 of the second quarter to take a 41-25 halftime lead. The Hawkeyes held Penn State without a point for the final 3:08 of the half.
“It’s always fun when we have a lot of people attacking,” said Sevillian, who had 10 points at the break. “This team does a great job of looking for the next person.”
Penn State was led in scoring by Kamaria McDaniel with 19 points.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“We have to stay engaged, even when we have that big lead and even when we’re on the road. Hopefully we learned that lesson today.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
The Hawkeyes forced 24 turnovers (tying a season-high with 14 steals) and had 10 more assists than Penn State (18-8).
Iowa has won nine straight games and 13 of its last 14. The nine-game winning streak for the Hawkeyes — including four consecutive roads wins — has come against Big Ten competition.
Iowa remains on the road Sunday to take on Michigan (13-7, 4-5) in Ann Arbor. Tip-off is 11 a.m. (CT). The Wolverines lost at Northwestern, 81-73, on Thursday.
IOWA-PENN STATE PHOTO GALLERY