MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – No. 2 seed Iowa women’s basketball team defeated No. 3 seed Maryland, 89-85, on Saturday night inside the Target Center to advance to the Big Ten Championship.
All five starters finished in double-digits, with National Player of the Year Caitlin Clark having a team-high 22 points, nine rebounds, and five rebounds. Gabbie Marshall had seven three-pointers to finish with a season-high 21 points. McKenna Warnock also had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Monika Czinano ended with 15 points and eight rebounds. Kate Martin flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 10 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Iowa shot 67 percent from the field and 63 percent from the three in the first quarter, with Clark going a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc and Czinano going 3-for-3 from the field. A steal by Molly Davis gave Warnock a wide open three to help The Hawkeyes a 24-15, lead. Warnock would turn around and force a Maryland turnover to close out the first 10 minutes with a eight-point lead.
Marshall had a quarter-high nine points for Iowa in the second. Maryland got within four, but back-to-back threes from Clark and Marshall and a jumper from Czinano put The Hawkeyes up by ten as they went into halftime with a, 47-42, lead.
Warnock had the first five points for Iowa in the third, but the Terrapins responded with their own scoring run to come within one. Clark responded with a fast-break three to inch ahead, and a big three from Marshall gave Iowa a six-point lead going into the media timeout. Maryland made a last-minute three to come within three heading into the final quarter.
Two early turnovers by Maryland gave Iowa two buckets at the beginning of the fourth. A pair of threes from Warnock and Marshall gave the Hawkeyes their largest lead of the quarter. A scoring run from the Terps tied it all up at 79 with two minutes remaining, but a three and a steal from Marshall was the spark Iowa needed. Warnock made four pressure free throws, in the end, to solidify the win and give Iowa their second Big Ten Championship appearance in as many seasons.
• Gabbie Marshall has hit 24 of her last 41 3-point attempts over the last nine games.
• Iowa will play in the Big Ten Tournament Championship for the second consecutive season.
• Marshall tied her career-high with seven 3-pointers made.
• Hawkeyes had five in double figures.
• Iowa had 24 assists on 12 turnovers.
• Iowa led for 38:04.
• It was the second highest attended game in Big Ten Tournament history. (9375)
• Iowa’s fifth AP Top-10 victory this season.
• Iowa attempted the most 3-pointers in Big Ten Tournament history (40)
• Clark broke the junior single season record at Iowa for the most points. (832)
• Clark extended her streak of scoring in double figures an astounding 84 games, which is a NCAA Division I best.
• Clark has netted a 3-point basket in 50 straight games. She has hit at least one 3-pointer in 93 career games.
• Clark is the only player in the nation with more than 820 points, 220 rebounds, 240 assists, and 40 steals this season.
• Iowa is 22-2 when leading at halftime.
• Clark and Marshall combined to make 12 three-point baskets. It marked the first time this season that two players each made at least five three-point baskets. They have made a total of 18 three-pointers in this year’s two Big Ten Tournament games.
• Iowa had five players score in double figures and three with at least 20 points.
• Iowa is now 18-3 this season when having the rebound advantage and 22-3 when having more assists
QUOTING P. SUE BECKWITH, MD, HEAD COACH LISA BLUDER
“The first thing I want to talk about is the amazing fans we had here again. I mean, we’re saying it’s Carver North. It’s just amazing how the Hawkeye fans have shown up. I know there’s a lot of people that can’t come. Those that were here made a lot of noise. Those that couldn’t come, we know we’re getting your support from home. We just want to bring people joy. That’s really what this team is all about. Today I love five people in double figures. I thought that Gabbie Marshall, 7-for-13 from three, but over the last nine games she’s shooting 58 percent from three. Nine games. That’s about a third of the season. I’m so proud of her because she started out the season struggling. She kept believing in herself. She kept working hard and getting in that gym. I couldn’t be more proud of anybody, just what her effort was in getting back, and this team’s belief in this woman is unbelievable. Gabbie was incredible on both ends of the floor. McKenna, clutch free throws. Caitlin was Caitlin. It just was a really fun game for us, and I love the 24 assists and only 12 turnovers.”
Make sure to follow Iowa women’s basketball on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (@IowaWBB) for news and updates all season long.
The Hawkeyes will play 4-Seed Ohio State in the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship inside the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tipoff for Sunday’s game is 4 p.m. (CT) and will air coast-to-coast on ESPN.