Doyle reaches 1,000 career points in season-opening win

Kathleen Doyle was one of the many bright spots in Iowa's victory over Florida Atlantic, hitting a major career milestone Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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Doyle reaches 1,000 career points in season-opening win

Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle drives the ball during the women's basketball game against Florida Atlantic on Thursday, November 7, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Owls 85-53.

Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle drives the ball during the women's basketball game against Florida Atlantic on Thursday, November 7, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Owls 85-53.

Katina Zentz

Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle drives the ball during the women's basketball game against Florida Atlantic on Thursday, November 7, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Owls 85-53.

Katina Zentz

Katina Zentz

Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle drives the ball during the women's basketball game against Florida Atlantic on Thursday, November 7, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Owls 85-53.

Chris Werner, Sports Reporter

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When Iowa senior Kathleen Doyle converted on two-consecutive free throws with 2:35 left in the first quarter for her sixth and seventh points of the game, it was seemingly just another normal scoring play in Iowa’s 85-53 season-opening rout over the Florida Atlantic Owls.

However, with those free throws Doyle reached the 1,000-point mark in her impressive career in the Black and Gold.

But the game was still tight at that point and Iowa was trailing 15-9 prior to Doyle’s free throws, so Doyle was not thinking about her milestone.

“At that point, I think we were down, so I was more focused on that, but it’s definitely cool,” Doyle said. “I think it’s a lot due to my teammates though.”

Those two free throws were part of Doyle’s team-leading 15 points of the night. She also contributed five assists and five rebounds in Thursday night’s season opener.

Doyle shot three of 10 on field goals versus Florida Atlantic while converting seven of eight tries at the charity stripe.

Doyle, who was named Illinois Miss Basketball in 2016 following her senior season at Benet Academy, has been an integral part of the Hawkeye attack ever since her freshman year in Iowa City.

RELATED: Lisa Bluder: 20 years of making leaders for Iowa women’s basketball

Doyle started 29 of 34 games during her first season with the Hawkeyes and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team after averaging 9.2 points per game along with 4.4 assists and 2.2 rebounds.

Since then, Doyle has been a steady presence for the Hawkeyes on the offensive end, averaging 11.1 points, 6.6 assists and 3.7 in her sophomore season and 12.0 points, 5.9 assists and 3.0 rebounds last year. Doyle has also taken on a leadership role for the Hawkeyes and is entering her third-straight season as a team captain for Iowa.

The 5’9” guard was named to the preseason All-Big-Ten Team this season as well as the Ann Meyers Drysdale watch list. The award recognizes the best shooting guard in women’s Division I college basketball.

“What I love about Kathleen is her leadership,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “She has been a leader since the minute she walked on this campus, you know sometimes freshmen take time to kind of get comfortable, it never took her any time, she was ready to go right away.

“She’s a confident player and she deserves to be confident, she’s good. We all know she’s good and we have so much belief in her so, I know that we’re a better team when she’s on the floor. I love the intensity, the emotion she brings to the game, she really contributes on both ends of the court.”

The Hawkeyes will attempt to stay unbeaten in the young season and get to 2-0 when they take on North Alabama next Thursday at 6:30 in another home contest at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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