By SAM BASLER
SAN ANTONIO – The University of Iowa Women’s Basketball team defeated Central Michigan, 87-72, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Iowa was led by Freshman Caitlin Clark who scored 23 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and tallied seven assists.
Junior Monika Czinano also poured in 23 points for the Hawkeyes and sophomore McKenna Warnock recorded her third consecutive double-double and seventh of the season with 13 points and three rebounds.
“I thought we shot the ball super well,” said Clark. “I think our offense was rolling which is encouraging to see. I always have said we do our best when we have multiple people in double figures, and that is exactly what we had today.”
Central Michigan began the game on an 8-3 run, but that five-point lead would prove to be their largest of the game. Kate Martin had 13 points in the first quarter for the Hawkeyes. Martin shot 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer to extend the Hawkeye lead to seven.
A 10-0 run for the Hawkeyes in the second quarter pushed the lead to 16. Central Michigan was able to narrow that gap to 11 and the Hawkeyes would lead 48-37 at halftime.
Warnock had 11 of her 13 points in the third quarter and the Hawkeyes closed the quarter on a 7-0 run to lead 65-52. The Hawkeyes kept Central Michigan from scoring in the last 4:26 of the quarter.
Czinano would add 11 points of her own in the fourth quarter to close things out for the Hawkeyes. Two of those points came on the receiving end of a behind the back pass from Clark with under two minutes left to help the Hawkeyes cap off the victory.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH LISA BLUDER:
“We had four people in double figures. I thought Tomi Taiwo came off the bench and gave us a nice spark as well. I love the balanced scoring. Everyone knows about Caitlin and Monika and what they can do. Kate Martin got us off to a great start today. When we get the extra factors in there, that makes us so much more dangerous.”
- The University of Iowa Hawkeyes (19-9, 11-8) defeated Central Michigan (18-9, 13-6), 87-72, improving the Hawkeyes’ all-time NCAA Tournament First Round record, 13-7.
- Sophomore McKenna Warnock registered her third consecutive double-double, tallying 13 points and 10 rebounds.
- Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures, including freshman Caitlin Clark (23), junior Monika Czinano (23), Warnock (13), and redshirt sophomore Kate Martin (13).
The Hawkeyes’ next stop is the 2021 NCAA Tournament Second Round on Tuesday, March 23, playing the University of Kentucky. Tipoff and TV designation are yet to be set.