Iowa women’s basketball downs Michigan State, Bluder notches 800th career victory

The Hawkeyes took down the Spartans, 88-61, for Lisa Bluder’s 800th career win as a head coach.


Dimia Burrell

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder is interviewed by BIG Ten network after her 800th win during a women’s basketball game between No. 9 Iowa and Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Sunday Dec. 5, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Trojans 88-61.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

Lisa Bluder won her 800th career game as a head coach on Sunday afternoon as No. 9 Iowa women’s basketball defeated Michigan State, 88-61, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Bluder is the 14th coach to win 800 games in NCAA Division I history and is currently ranked 17th all-time in career victories.

Bluder started her coaching career at St. Ambrose University in 1984 before moving to Drake in 1990. The head Hawkeye then came to the University of Iowa in 2000-01. Bluder has won the Big Ten Tournament twice in her 21-year tenure at Iowa and reached the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 three times with the Hawkeyes.

Hawkeye Athletics prepared a postgame video celebration for Bluder that featured the Iowa women’s basketball coaching staff.

Bluder credited her support team, including associate head coach Jan Jensen, special assistant to the head coach Jenni Fitzgerald, and assistant coach Abby Emmert Stamp, in her postgame press conference.

“It’s just one more game,” Bluder said. “It’s not that big of a deal, but I think people make a big deal of century ones. But it really gives you a time to reflect on the women you’ve been able to coach and you’ve been around, and you reflect on the staff that you have. I mean, Jan, Jenni, and Abby have been around for a long time … You’re just grateful, and you’re thankful you get to do this. I mean, how many people get to do what they love every single day? It’s amazing.”

Big Picture 

The Hawkeyes bounced back from an uninspired offensive performance against Duke. 

Iowa scored 88 points on 49 percent shooting from the field and saw three players finish with over 15 points.

The Hawkeyes also shot 86 percent from the charity stripe.

Triple-Double Machine

Sophomore point guard Caitlin Clark finished the game with 24 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds, notching her second triple-double of the season and the third of her career.

Clark is just the second player in Iowa history to record three or more triple-doubles in their career.

“I think it’s always nice coming back to your home court and being in front of your fans, who I think were incredible,” Clark said. ”… We’re the type of team that knows what we’re going to do. It’s hard taking 10 days off, and then coming back and playing a team like Duke — that I think is a top-25 team. But we didn’t perform our best [on Thursday], and I think getting this one today was super important for us.”

Bluder also presented Clark with a plaque before the game, in honor of her time on the U.S. U19 basketball team over the summer. Clark was a captain on the team, and helped guide Team USA to a gold medal victory at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Hungary.

What’s next 

The Hawkeyes will travel to Ames to take on No. 14 Iowa State on Wednesday for the Cy-Hawk Series. 

The Cyclones head into the game with a record of 8-1, suffering their lone defeat to LSU in the Big 12/SEC challenge.

The Hawkeyes and Cyclones will tip off at Hilton Coliseum at 6 p.m. The game will also air on ESPNU.