No. 2 Iowa Dances to the Second Round

IOWA CITY, Iowa – No. 2 seeded Iowa women’s basketball shot 60 percent from the field to advance to the NCAA Tournament Second Round after defeating No. 15 seed Illinois State, 98-58, on Friday afternoon inside a sold-out Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa’s 98 points are the most the program has scored in a NCAA Tournament game, besting the previous record (89) set against Oregon during the 2001 Tournament.

Four players scored in double digits, with sophomore All-American Caitlin Clark recording her 16th season and 25th career double-double after scoring 27 points and 10 assists. Senior Monika Czinano recorded 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Senior Tomi Taiwo and junior Gabbie Marshall scored 13 points apiece.

The first-game butterflies settled after Iowa trailed 9-4 in the first four minutes. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Clark and Marshall put Iowa within two. Junior McKenna Warnock made a layup to tie the game at 12. Marshall would sink her second three of the game to start a 9-0 scoring run and give the Hawkeyes a 21-15 advantage going into the second.

Six players contributed to the stat book in the second quarter, with Clark scoring nine of Iowa’s 22. Freshman Addison O’Grady made a turnaround jumper off an assist from Marshall, who tied her season-high of five assists. Iowa kept the ball rolling with Taiwo grabbing a steal and finishing an easy layup going into halftime with a 14-point lead.

The Hawkeyes came out on a 9-point scoring run coming out of half. Iowa shot lights out from 3-point range in the third quarter, going 8-for-10 from the arc. A 3-pointer from Taiwo gave Iowa a 25-point lead. Illinois State took advantage of Iowa’s seven fouls, shooting a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line to cut the deficit to 20. O’Grady made a layup off an offensive rebound, giving Iowa a 74-47 lead with momentum going into the fourth.

The fun continued in the fourth quarter for the Hawkeyes, as the Law Firm — Clark and Czinano — went on their own 6-point scoring run in the first three minutes. The threes kept falling as Clark, sophomore Kylie Feuerbach and freshman Sydney Affolter went back-to-back-to-back, sinking 3-pointers and getting the sold-out crowd on their feet. Illinois State didn’t throw in the towel, but Taiwo wanted in on the fun, sinking her third 3-pointer of the quarter to seal the deal and come away with a 40-point win.

• The No. 2 seed Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the No. 15 seed Illinois State Redbirds, 98-58, in the NCAA Tournament First Round inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa is 13-7 all time in the NCAA Tournament First Round.
• Sophomore Caitlin Clark registered her 16th season and 25th career double-double with 27 points and 10 assists.
• Four Hawkeyes scored in double-figures, including Clark (27), senior Monika Czinano (18), senior Tomi Taiwo (13) and junior Gabbie Marshall (13).
• Iowa shot 20-21 from the free-throw line, recording the Hawkeyes’ best free-throw percentage in an NCAA Tournament game.
• Redshirt junior Kate Martin tied her career-high blocks with three on the day.

Iowa remains in Iowa City and will play No.10 seed Creighton on Sunday at 12:00pm CT on ABC in the NCAA Tournament Second Round game.