Women’s basketball looking for another win in Cy-Hawk series

Iowa has won three straight meetings against the Cyclones.

Iowa%27s+Monika+Czinano+and+Clemson%27s+Tylar+Bennett+reach+for+the+ball+during+a+women%E2%80%99s+basketball+match+between+Iowa+and+Clemson+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Wednesday%2C+Dec.+4%2C+2019.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Tigers%2C+74-60.
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Women’s basketball looking for another win in Cy-Hawk series

Iowa's Monika Czinano and Clemson's Tylar Bennett reach for the ball during a women’s basketball match between Iowa and Clemson at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers, 74-60.

Iowa's Monika Czinano and Clemson's Tylar Bennett reach for the ball during a women’s basketball match between Iowa and Clemson at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers, 74-60.

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa's Monika Czinano and Clemson's Tylar Bennett reach for the ball during a women’s basketball match between Iowa and Clemson at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers, 74-60.

Shivansh Ahuja

Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa's Monika Czinano and Clemson's Tylar Bennett reach for the ball during a women’s basketball match between Iowa and Clemson at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers, 74-60.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

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After Iowa wrestling handled Iowa State in Ames two weeks ago, Iowa women’s basketball heads to Ames looking to extends the Hawkeyes’ lead in this year’s Cy-Hawk series.

After three straight wins over Iowa State, this year’s game should have a different feel to it, according to Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder.

“It will be a real challenge over in Hilton,” Bluder said. “We both lost huge pieces to the puzzle, so we’re both trying to figure out our programs and get them better and help them grow this season, so it’s kind of a work in progress for both of us right now.”

Iowa is coming off one of its most complete performances of the season against Clemson, where Iowa led for over 35 minutes while forcing turnovers and dominating the glass.

Monika Czinano and Amanda Ollinger arguably played some of their best basketball on both sides of the floor, while the team knocked down shots with ease.

Iowa State presents a slightly different challenge than Clemson in how they are set up. The Cyclones are a more fast-paced team than the Tigers, emphasizing three-point shooting. It will be a tough matchup for the Hawkeyes, especially on the glass.

Iowa State shoots the ball relatively well at 46 percent from the field, but when the Cyclones miss, they are often able to capitalize. Iowa State has an incredible 11.8 rebounding margin per game this season and has been able to get plenty of second-chance points.

Iowa State has had a relatively light schedule so far this season. Although the Cyclones notched an impressive victory in Tuscaloosa against Alabama, their remaining opponents are not up to that quality. Drake gave Iowa State its only loss so far this season in a tight 86-81 contest.

Sophomore Ashley Joens has been the key for the Cyclones so far this season. The Iowa City native has been a stat machine early, averaging 21.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

“This year, everything is running through Ashley,” Bluder said “She’s such a good player as far as she’s a great three-point shooter, great penetrator.”

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Iowa will also have to be careful with picking up fouls, as Joens has managed to get to the line an average of eight times per game this season.

The matchup between centers Czinano and Iowa State’s Kristen Scott should be a crucial battle to decide the outcome. Although Scott has put up slightly better rebounding numbers, Czinano has been the more effective of the two on offense, shooting 74 percent from the field against Scott’s 49 percent.

Iowa State’s fast style of play coupled with its emphasis on three-point shooting is something Bluder is wary of.

“They hunt for the three-point shot, and they do a really good job of it,” Bluder said. “[Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly] recruits really good three-point shooters, and so they all have that potential to shoot 3’s very well, and that is hard to guard sometimes.”

Tonight’s game tips off at 7 p.m. in Ames and can be seen on Fox Sports 1.

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