Iowa women’s basketball pummels Minnesota, 105-49

The Hawkeyes’ 56-point win is their largest margin of victory in a Big Ten game in program history.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark drives to the hoop during a women’s basketball game between No. 14 Iowa and Central Florida in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. The Hawkeyes defeated the Knights, 69-61.

Chloe Peterson, Assistant Sports Editor

MINNEAPOLIS — Iowa women’s basketball sophomore Caitlin Clark joined elite company on Thursday night.

The point guard notched her second consecutive 30-point triple-double with 35 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in the Hawkeyes’ 105-49 pummeling of Minnesota at Williams Arena.

Only six other players in the NBA, WNBA, or Division I men’s or women’s college basketball have achieved the feat of two straight 30-point triple-doubles since 2000: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Luka Dončić, and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

“Caitlin showed why she was one of the most special and exciting players in America,” head coach Lisa Bluder said postgame.

With four triple-doubles in 2021-22, Clark also broke the Big Ten women’s basketball record for triple-doubles in one season. And she’s only played 15 games.

Clark now has five career triple-doubles, with three coming against Big Ten opponents.

“When you start playing really good competition, I think that brings out the best in a competitor and that’s who I am,” Clark said of her recent performances. “I think that’s what my team needs but I’m not really about scoring … I think it’s the other things that can set me apart and help this team be great.”

The preseason All-American is averaging 26.2 points per game — leading the nation. She also averages 8.5 rebounds and 7.6 assists.

Big Picture

The Hawkeyes’ 56-point win on Thursday night was Iowa’s largest-ever margin of victory over a Big Ten team and Minnesota’s worst loss in the NCAA era.

After a two-month stretch when Iowa couldn’t string together back-to-back victories, the Hawkeyes are now on a four-game win streak — with three coming on the road.

“I really can’t find anything that was poor out there,” Bluder said of Iowa’s performance against Minnesota. “… These kids, they played with great energy tonight. They had fun on the floor. I mean, the passing of the basketball, the running of the floor. It was really some pretty basketball and I enjoy watching pretty basketball. I really am happy when they play that way.”

No. 25 Iowa is 11-4 on the season and 5-1 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes now sit at third in the conference, behind No. 6 Indiana at 7-0 and No. 8 Michigan at 7-1.

Czinano returns to home state

Senior center Monika Czinano had a good day on Thursday.

On her 22nd birthday, Czinano returned to her home state and put up 23 points and seven rebounds in the Hawkeyes’ pounding of the Gophers.

“Every time I’ve come here it’s been special,” Czinano said. “But this was a really nice cherry on top of the day. I’ve had a great day … It’s my birthday, we beat Minnesota by [56], it’s been a great day and I think it’s just really good for the team. A lot of people got in the game, a lot of people got confidence.”

All available players for the Hawkeyes tallied at least five minutes on the court Thursday night. Nine Hawkeyes scored, and the bench contributed 20 points.

Czinano’s hometown of Watertown, Minnesota, is just 40 minutes away from Williams Arena. She had friends and family in attendance to watch her and her sister Maggie — who is a freshman on the Minnesota women’s basketball team — play.

“It’s so nice having people who have known me for so long and have supported me for so long and are so passionate about the game,” Monika said. “And they really helped make me who I am today. So it’s so awesome seeing them and hearing them scream. It’s just really special coming back to Minnesota for that reason.”

Up Next

Iowa was originally slated to play Indiana at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, but the game was postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the Hoosier program. A rescheduled date has not yet been announced.

When the Hawkeyes’ game against the Hoosiers was postponed, Bluder said Iowa was looking for a new opponent for Saturday or Sunday. Now, Iowa has hope for a game this weekend.

“There’s a possibility we could be hosting on Sunday,” Bluder said. “So, stay tuned.”

Right now, the Hawkeyes’ next scheduled game is in State College, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday against Penn State. Tip is at 6 p.m. and the game will be streamed on BTN+.