By DARREN MILLER
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The 20th-ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team shot 59 percent from the field and had three players score 20-or-more points during an 83-71 win over Purdue on Sunday in front of 6,681 in Mackey Arena.
The Hawkeyes keep pace with Maryland on top of the Big Ten standings with a record of 20-4 overall, 11-2 in league play. Purdue falls to 15-10, 6-7.
Iowa saw its 16-point lead cut to 64-62 with 8:40 left in the game, but the Hawkeyes held Purdue to just nine points the rest of the way.
“Our defense was good, our communication was excellent, our focus was excellent,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I am proud of our team for us to come here and give that much effort.”
Senior guards Kathleen Doyle and Makenzie Meyer led the way for Iowa with 22 points apiece.
“I thought Mak attacked the hole well and Kathleen hit some dagger 3s at the end of the shot clock,” Bluder said. “We had great clock management.”
Sophomore center Monika Czinano made 10 of 11 field goals for 20 points. She leads all NCAA Division I players by shooting 68.8 percent from the field (154 of 224).
Iowa senior Amanda Ollinger grabbed 12 of her team’s 31 rebounds. She also blocked three shots (the Hawkeyes blocked seven).
Kayana Traylor led Purdue in scoring with 21 points.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“This was a great win for us, especially since we got down early (by seven points). Our defense in the second quarter was outstanding. I love to see 23 assists on only 10 turnovers, and we shot the ball well from every area except the free throw line.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
After going five games (four of them wins) without shooting better than 50 percent from the field, the Hawkeyes made 33 of 56 attempts (58.9 percent). They made 11 of 13 field goals in the second quarter (84.6).
Iowa outscored Purdue in the paint, 46-26, thanks in large part to Czinano’s 20 points. The Hawkeyes also racked up 23 assists — six each by Doyle, Meyer, and freshman McKenna Warnock.
Iowa has now handed out 23 assists in back-to-back games after averaging 14.5 assists in its previous four games.
Sole possession of first place in the Big Ten is on the line Thursday when the Hawkeyes travel to Maryland. Tip-off from the XFINITY Center in College Park, Maryland, is 5 p.m. (CT).
The Terrapins (20-4, 11-2) defeated Rutgers, 79-50, on Sunday. Iowa won the first meeting, 66-61, on Jan. 9 in Iowa City.