Marshall impresses in Iowa’s Big Ten-opener against Wisconsin

Sophomore guard Gabbie Marshall recorded a season-high 15 points in Iowa women’s basketball’s win over the Badgers Saturday.


Ryan Adams for the Daily Iowan

Iowa Guard Gabbie Marshall passes the ball during a women’s basketball game between Iowa and Wisconsin at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, December 5, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Badgers 85-78. (Ryan Adams/The Daily Iowan)

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter

Sophomore guard Gabbie Marshall showed her maturity on Saturday as Iowa women’s basketball defeated the Wisconsin Badgers, 85-78. The Hawkeyes are now 3-0 on the season.

Marshall – a Cincinnati, Ohio, native – had an impressive final line, scoring a season-high 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting coupled with three assists. Additionally, for the second time this season, Marshall had three steals. Through three games, Marshall is tied with freshman Caitlin Clark for the team lead in steals.

“She was our best producer both offensively and defensively today,” head coach Lisa Bluder said.

Beyond statistics, Marshall’s leadership and maturity is crucial for this young Hawkeye team.

“I thought Gabbie played a really strong game mentally,” Bluder said. “And we’re gonna need that out of her. I know she’s only a sophomore, but with a freshman point guard like Caitlin, we’re going to need maturity out of other positions, and I thought [Marshall] gave us that today, on both sides of the ball.”

The 5-foot-9 Marshall is a first-year starter in a lineup full of newcomers. Junior center Monika Czinano is Iowa’s only returning 2019-20 starter. Sophomore guards McKenna Warnock and Kate Martin join Clark and Czinano in rounding out the Hawkeyes’ 2020-21 starting lineup.

With her 15 points, Marshall joined Clark, Warnock, and Czinano as the only Hawkeyes to score in double figures on Saturday. 

“Credit to my teammates, they make the right passes and I put myself in the right position and they find me,” Marshall said. “So I think it’s easy when you have such good passes on your team to find the open spot and knock down the open shot.”

RELATED: Iowa women’s basketball defeats Wisconsin to move to 3-0 on the season

Marshall has also emerged as one of the team’s best defenders, thanks to the work she did in the extended offseason.

“I tried to focus more on defense [during the offseason],” Marshall said. “Playing harder on defense, getting my hands in the passing lanes, and just trying to keep the energy on the team up, because it all starts on defense. So then that translates into offense, and just brings more confidence on the offensive end.”

Freshman Caitlin Clark struggled for the first time this season against Wisconsin. So, Marshall stepped up to fill the void as Clark lagged.

“I think [Marshall’s] just a super reliable player,” Czinano said. “When you need it, she’ll get stops on defense, she’ll nail threes, she’s just a really, really, solid all-around player. And I think that’s exactly what this team needs in every single game. You gotta have somebody that you can rely on. Like in the Drake game she had some incredible stops that the whole team needed. She’s able to nail threes, she’s able to make the defender respect her, and I really think that’s super valuable.”

After its first Big Ten game, Iowa women’s basketball will play outside of the conference next week and take on Iowa State in the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.