Hawkeyes Are Co-Big Ten Champions

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Everything clicked inside of sold-out Carver-Hawkeye Arena for No. 21 Iowa women’s basketball as they downed No. 6 Michigan, 104-80, capturing their 13th Big Ten Regular Season Championship – sharing the title with No. 18/17 Ohio State.

“I’m just so thankful,” P. Sue Beckwith, MD, Head Coach Lisa Bluder said. “We’ve had so many ups and downs this season. A month ago we had seven players, we had two COVID shutdowns, we had delays in our transportation, and we had rescheduled games, but we kept believing. I’m so blessed to be able to coach them and to have them as a part of my extended family. I’m very thankful for the crowd today. When Jan and I came here 22 years ago, we dreamed about a sold-out arena. Today, you couldn’t have scripted it any better. Champions, beating the number 16 in the country, having our seniors go out on a high like that and being able to cut the down the nets as Big Ten Champions, I’m lost beyond words.”

Iowa shot lights out, including.7 percent from the field, 55 percent from 3-point range and 82.4 percent from the free-throw line. Sophomore Caitlin Clark registered her 14th season and 23rd career double-double, adding 38 points and assisting 11 shots for her teammates. Returning senior Monika Czinano recorded 19 points, and junior Gabbie Marshall was one basket away from her season-high with 14 points and grabbed two steals.

Iowa had a slow start, trailing by nine early in the first. Back-to-back fast-break 3-pointers from Clark and senior Tomi Taiwo brought the deficit to three with five minutes remaining. Michigan went 4-7 from the 3-point to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the first, but Marshall swished a buzzer-beater from beyond the arc to head into the second, down by five with momentum on Iowa’s side.

The Hawkeyes had a huge second quarter, outscoring Michigan, 33-14, shooting 72.2 percent from the field with six players piling up the stat sheet. Iowa went on a 9-0 scoring run to take its first lead of the game after sophomore Kylie Feuerbach finished a second chance layup after pulling down her own offensive rebound. Freshman Addison O’Grady extended the lead, finishing a layup off junior McKenna Warnock’s steal. Michigan made a free-throw to even the score at 34. It was Iowa’s game the rest of the quarter, scoring 19 points in three minutes. Clark did what she does best, making back-to-back threes to take a 12-point lead. Feuerbach ended the quarter with a smooth 3-point jumper to give the Hawkeyes a 53-39 lead going into half.

Iowa came out of the break, keeping its lead with Clark going 4-for-4 from 3-point range and scoring 14 of the team’s 23 third-quarter points. Redshirt junior Kate Martin dished out three of her six assists in the third all to Czinano, who went 3-for-4 from the field. The Hawkeyes ended the quarter going on a 9-0 run to head into the final 10 minutes up by 17.

Warnock, who leads the team in 3-point percentage, knocked down a three to start the fourth quarter. Iowa took its largest lead of the game in the fourth, extending to 27 after Marshall knocked down a free throw off a Wolverine offensive foul. The Cincinnati native swished both of her 3-pointers she took, adding to her free throw for seven points in the fourth. Freshman Sydney Affolter made two free throws in the final minute of the game, to seal the, 104-80, win and capture a share of the Big Ten Title.

• The No. 21/22 Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the No. 6/5 Michigan Wolverines, 104-80, to win the Big Ten Regular Season Championship inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The first Big Ten Regular-Season Championship for the Hawkeyes since 2008 – they will share with No. 18/17 Ohio State.
• Three Hawkeyes scored in double figures, including sophomore Caitlin Clark (38), senior Monika Czinano (19), and junior Gabbie Marshall (14).
• Clark registered her 14th season and 23rd career double-double, knocking down 38 points and assisting 11 shots for her teammates.
• Iowa registered their first sellout since Jan. 31, 1988, with 15,056 in attendance at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

The Hawkeyes travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Tournament on Friday, March 4, playing at 5:30 p.m. CT inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse on B1G Network. Iowa will play the winner of the Minnesota (10 seed) versus Northwestern (7 seed) game that takes place on Thursday, March 3 at 5:30 p.m. CT. Fans can follow along on Twitter @IowaWBB for live updates.