Iowa women’s basketball falls to Northwestern

The Hawkeyes have not collected back-to-back victories since November.

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Ayrton Breckenridge

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark drives to the basket during a women’s basketball game between No. 22 Iowa and Northwestern at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. The Hawkeyes lost to the Wildcats, 77-69.

Chloe Peterson, Assistant Sports Editor


Iowa women’s basketball fell to Northwestern, 77-69, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night for its second loss in three games.

The No. 21 Hawkeyes are now 7-4 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes have not put together back-to-back victories since November, before its three-game COVID-19 hiatus.

“I think it’s just about not being able to play consistently, quite honestly,” senior center Monika Czinano said. “I feel like that’s something we’ve really been lacking this season, just an overall sense of consistency. But I don’t think we’re the only team in the country that is going through that and has that story. So, you kind of have to rise above it once you get to a certain point.”

Northwestern improved to 10-3 on the season and are an unblemished 2-0 in the conference.

Northwestern played its first game in 19 days against Iowa on Thursday as the Wildcats dealt with COVID-19 issues within their program. The Wildcats postponed or canceled three games from Dec. 21 to Jan. 3, including two Big Ten games. 

“I’m just really proud of our efforts tonight,” Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown said postgame. “We haven’t played in a long time.”

Iowa has had five games canceled or postponed this season because of COVID-19 issues. The Hawkeyes canceled three nonconference games over Thanksgiving week because of COVID-19 cases within the program. 

The Hawkeyes’ games against Penn State and Illinois were postponed on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2, respectively, because of COVID-19 cases within the Nittany Lion and Illini programs.

One-third of the way into the season, Iowa still hasn’t found a sense of consistency.

“If you’re a really good basketball player, you’re consistent,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I mean, that’s the way it is, right? And right now, we’re not very consistent, and you don’t really know who you can count on day in day out. And that’s that’s hard.”

Iowa struggles beyond the arc

Iowa’s shots behind the 3-point line did not fall on Thursday night as the Hawkeyes finished 6-of-26 from the perimeter. Sophomore point guard Caitlin Clark, who is a career 25.3 percent 3-point shooter, went just 1-of-8 from the 3-point line. 

Prior to the 2021-22 season, the NCAA moved the women’s 3-point line back from 20 feet and 9 inches to be equal to the men’s 3-point line at 22 feet and 1.75 inches.

“I really thought that moving the three point line back this year wouldn’t bother us,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I really just didn’t think it was gonna bother us at all. But it seems to have bothered us. We’re just not shooting the ball as well as we’re capable of shooting it and, you know, the only thing you can do is keep working on it in practice.”

Czinano, Warnock return

Czinano and junior forward McKenna Warnock returned to the court on Thursday night.

The pair missed the Hawkeyes’ game against University of Evansville on Jan. 2 because of COVID-19 protocols.

“I actually felt pretty good,” Czinano said postgame. “Running-wise, I wasn’t getting too winded or anything. It’s nice to be back with teammates playing basketball, but an unfortunate first game back.”

Czinano finished with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting, while Warnock dropped 14 points and eight rebounds.

Logan Cook injured

After senior forward Logan Cook started her first career game against Evansville on Jan. 2, she did not dress against the Wildcats and had a boot on her right foot.

Bluder could not specify what type of injury Cook had, but said she will be out for a while.

Cook is averaging 1.1 points and 2.5 rebounds with the Hawkeyes this season.

Iowa has already lost sophomore center Sharon Goodman and forward Shateah Wetering for the 2021-22 season to ACL tears. The Hawkeyes currently have 10 available players.

Up next

The Hawkeyes will travel to Nebraska to take on the Cornhuskers in Lincoln. The game starts at 1 p.m. and will be aired on FS1.

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