Buckeyes use hot start, defense to blow by Hawkeyes in Big Ten Tournament

A 19-0 run in the first quarter put the game away early for Ohio State.


Katina Zentz

Ohio State players cheer during the Iowa vs. Ohio State Women’s Big Ten Tournament game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Friday, March 6, 2020. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 87-66.

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter

After winning a conference title last season, Iowa did not duplicate that success at this year’s Big Ten Tournament.

The Hawkeyes were outplayed drastically by Ohio State and lost, 87-66, in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals. Almost nothing seemed to go right for the Hawkeyes.

Though sophomore center Monika Czinano made the first field goal of the game, the Buckeyes quickly took control afterward and never relinquished.

In the first quarter, the Buckeyes went on a 19-0 run, making the score 22-3. No matter what Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder tried to do, the Buckeyes always had an answer on offense, keeping the Hawkeyes out whenever they tried to get back in the game.

Bluder knew they were in trouble after the poor start.

“I kind of want to apologize for our poor performance tonight,” Bluder said. “I thought we had two good prep days before we came here and obviously, we didn’t have to play late last night like Ohio State did. Yet, it looked like Ohio State had a lot more energy than we did.”

A big part of why Iowa lost was because of Ohio State’s dominant shooting. The Buckeyes shot 63 percent from the field in the first half.

Senior guard Kathleen Doyle left the game twice due to injury but came back in quickly both times and ended up leading the Hawkeyes with 16 points.

“I mean, it’s postseason play,” Doyle said. “I’m going to be on the floor as much as I possibly can. It was disappointing, those things happen, but I just try to be out there fighting with my teammates. So, I was trying to get out there as best as I could.”

Four Hawkeyes scored in double-digits by game’s end. The other players were Czinano, senior guard Makenzie Meyer, and junior guard Alexis Sevillian.

Overall, Iowa struggled from the field. The Hawkeyes shot 22-of-63 against the Buckeyes.

“I know that our offensive problems tonight I think we’re an anomaly,” Bluder said.  “Our defense, I mean I have to watch that. I just feel like we missed a lot of bomb shots that we usually make, a lot of bunnies inside, layups, and that is a momentum killer when you missed those kind of shots that you know are supposed to be going in.”

This game’s result was much different than the previous time the Hawkeyes met the Buckeyes this season. At Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Jan. 23, the Hawkeyes won, 77-68.

In this matchup, the Buckeyes had five players in double-digits, including two with 15 plus points. That was the same number as the last time they played the Hawkeyes, but the team overall had a much worse shooting night, going 35.2 percent from the field instead of the 50 percent they had tonight.

Despite this, their head coach, Kevin McGuff, said something else was the difference.

“I thought our defense was better than the first time we played them, and that was the key,” McGuff said.

McGuff also said the Hawkeyes are hard to keep up with once they start scoring, so stopping them from doing that was crucial to their defense.

With the NCAA Tournament rapidly approaching, the key for Bluder will be moving forward after this loss.

“We’re going to hit it hard the next couple weeks preparing for the NCAA Tournament and try to make a deep run in it,” Doyle said.

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