Hawkeyes dominate in third quarter, breeze by Minnesota

Iowa women’s basketball outscored Minnesota, 28-8, in the third quarter, leading to a 94-68 win.


Hannah Kinson

Iowa forward Monika Czinano shoots a basket during a women’s basketball game between Iowa and Minnesota at Carver Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated the Gophers, 90-82.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter

Iowa women’s basketball posted a convincing win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sunday, 94-68, to move to 10-4 on the season and 6-4 in Big Ten play.

To supplement a six-point halftime lead, the Hawkeye offense exploded in the third quarter, as Iowa outscored Minnesota, 28-8, to take a 26-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Iowa maintained its 26-point lead throughout the fourth quarter.

“The third quarter, that was just domination,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I thought our defense was really strong, obviously, just holding them to eight points in that quarter.”

Providing the spark for the Hawkeyes’ third-quarter fireworks was Minnesota guard Sarah Scalia, who hit a buzzer-beating 3-point shot at the end of the second quarter to cut the Golden Gophers’ deficit to six at haltime.

“Our talk was just like ‘Yeah, we should’ve been able to defend that, but we’re not going to let that one possession dictate how we come out in the second half,’” junior center Monika Czinano said. “So, I think everything was just keep pushing at them, and I think for the whole game our goal was to just keep going, keep pushing, keep not letting up no matter how much we were up, and I think we did a really good job of that.”

Czinano pieced together another commanding performance in the paint on Sunday night, going 11-of-14 from the field for 23 points. Currently, Czinano leads all of Division I Women’s College Basketball in field goal percentage, as she’s shot 70.1 percent from the floor so far this season.

Freshman point guard Caitlin Clark and sophomore forward McKenna Warnock also finished the game in double figures. Clark scored 22 points and distributed 11 assists, while Warnock dropped 11 points and snared 10 rebounds to notch her third double-double of the 2020-21 season.

“I loved the energy we played with today,” Bluder said. “I thought our energy was so much higher, I thought our focus was really good. It just feels good to play a team basketball style and just a clean game.”

After a two-week stretch of multiple losses to ranked opponents – the most recent of which being an 87-80 loss to No. 23 Northwestern at home – the Hawkeyes aimed to reestablish their dominance against a Big Ten foe in Minnesota on Sunday.

“[Minnesota is] a great team,” Warnock said. “They had won three in a row before we played them, so they were kind of on a roll, and we were just looking to make a statement and prove that we are a really good team.”

Up next for Iowa is a matchup with Ohio State in Columbus on Thursday. The last time the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes met, Iowa blew a double-digit lead to Ohio State, allowing the Buckeyes to snap the Hawkeyes’ 42-game home win streak.

“This was really an important game for us to get,” Bluder said. “And I’m really glad we kind of put an exclamation point on this game too, because it gives us more confidence going into Ohio State.”

Tipoff between the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes is set for 5 p.m. on Thursday. The game will air on the Big Ten Network.

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