By SHANE STURTZ
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – In a battle between the nation’s top scoring offenses, the University of Iowa women’s basketball team (12-7, 8-7) was defeated by No. 8 Maryland (17-2, 13-1), 111-93, on Tuesday afternoon inside the Xfinity Center.
The two teams combined to make 32 3-pointers in the highest scoring matchup in series history. Iowa was 17-of-33 (51.5 percent) from 3-point range, while Maryland was 15-of-22 (68.2 percent) from long distance.
With Iowa trailing 8-6 one minute and a half into the game, Maryland went on a 16-3 run in just four minutes of play to take a 27-9 lead. Maryland’s hot shooting in the first quarter gave the Terrapins a 41-21 first-quarter advantage.
The Terrapins were 8-of-9 from downtown in the first quarter, including a perfect 5-of-5 shooting display from Maryland’s Katie Benzan, who tied a Maryland record with nine 3-pointers.
“We had transition issues and open 3s (in the first quarter),” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “They gained a lot of momentum from that. For the last three quarters, we beat them by two points on their home court. We put 93 points up on the road against Maryland. There’s some good takeaways, but yes the first quarter was not good.”
Freshman Caitlin Clark, who posted her fifth consecutive and ninth career 30-point game with a game-high 34 points on a personal-best nine 3-pointers, had 29 points at halftime to become Iowa’s all-time freshman scoring leader.
Clark scored Iowa’s first nine points of the game, didn’t miss a shot (5-5 FG, 4-4 3FG, 3-3 FT) in her 17-point second quarter, and dished out seven assists.
“We held our composure after they went on a run and we battled that whole game,” Clark said. “We have to take care of that first quarter and that’s what dug us that hole.”
Junior Monika Czinano scored 15 of her 17 points and was a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor in the second half. Sophomore McKenna Warnock was the third Hawkeye in double figures with 16 points bolstered by 3-of-6 3-point shooting.
- Iowa outscored Maryland 72-70 in the final three quarters.
- Iowa has reached 90+ points in nine games this season.
- Clark’s nine 30-point games are believed to be the most by a freshman in NCAA Division women’s basketball since 2000.
- Clark’s nine 3-pointers are the most from a Hawkeye against a Big Ten opponent since Melissa Dixon recorded nine at Northwestern on Jan. 29, 2015.
- Four Hawkeyes – Clark (9), Warnock (3), Tomi Taiwo (3), and Gabbie Marshall (2) – made at least two 3-pointers.
The Hawkeyes return home for its second of three games this week on Thursday against No. 12 Michigan inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tip off is set for 3:30 p.m. (CT) on Big Ten Network.