Doyle named DI’s Female Athlete of the Year

The senior was a leader for the women’s basketball team, which defied expectations this season.


Katina Zentz

Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle jumps for a lay-up 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

In her final game as a Hawkeye, senior guard Kathleen Doyle was left injured twice but came back into play soon afterwards both times.

Though her team was blown out by Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament, her efforts in that game are one of the many reasons why she was revered by Hawkeye fans this past season and throughout her career. For her tenacious leadership and performance this season, Doyle is The Daily Iowan’s 2019-20 Female Athlete of the Year.

Having high expectations coming into the season with a young group and a team running a perimeter offense, it would be an understatement to say that Doyle delivered. She scored her 1,000th point of her career in the first game of the season and never looked back.

By the end of her senior season, which was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, Doyle achieved a lot. She was named Big Ten Player of the Year on March 2. Her 18.1 points per game this season ranked fourth in the conference, and her 6.3 assists per game ranked first.

Statistics like these led to national recognition. She was named to both the Associated Press and United States Basketball Association Third Team All-American after finishing in the top 50 nationally in five statistical categories, which included total assists, assists per game, free throws made, total points, and points per game.

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Doyle had impressive games across the season. Starting every one of them, she scored in the double-digits in every game but two and was often a key difference between the Hawkeyes winning and losing.

Against Princeton Nov. 20, she went 5-of-15 from the field but made 10 free throws that helped the Hawkeyes claw back and win in overtime to extend their home winning streak. At Hilton Coliseum on Dec. 11, she put up a similar stat line, ensuring that her senior class would beat Iowa State for the fourth time in a row.

When Big Ten play started, she was all set to dominate. In their Big Ten home opener on Dec. 31, the Hawkeyes walloped Illinois behind a season-high 33 points from Doyle, who shot 78.6 percent from the field. In a double-overtime victory against Indiana on Jan. 12, Doyle had 31 points and 10 assists in 47 minutes.

She continued to have nice performances for the rest of the season, scoring 20-plus points six times after the Indiana game. She also continued being a reliable teammate, which showed when she set the program record for assists in a game at 15 against Nebraska Feb. 6.

With this season’s performance, Doyle leaves a mark on the program that won’t be forgotten any time soon. The player that almost went to Nebraska will forever be known as a Hawkeye that exhibited great leadership skills her senior year.

Whether it was leading by example while playing great basketball, coming back quickly from an injury, or being vocal on the court, there’s no question that she made an impact on her fellow teammates’ success.

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