The Daily Iowan names Iowa women’s basketball 2021-22 women’s team of the year

The Hawkeyes became the first in Iowa women’s basketball program history to win the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles.


Grace Smith

Iowa celebrates their regular reason Big Ten Champion title after a women’s basketball game between No. 21 Iowa and No. 6 Michigan at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. The Hawkeyes became Big Ten co-Champions after defeating the Wolverines, 104-80.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

Iowa women’s basketball made history in 2022.

For winning both the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles in the same season for the first time, The Daily Iowan named the Hawkeye women’s basketball team its 2021-22 Women’s Team of the Year.

The Hawkeyes came into the 2021-22 season with high expectations. Iowa was coming off a Sweet 16 berth in the 2021 NCAA Tournament and returned all five starters in Monika Czinano, Caitlin Clark, Gabbie Marshall, Kate Martin, and McKenna Warnock.

Iowa nabbed a preseason No. 9 seed and flew through the first four games of its schedule. Then, the Hawkeyes were hit with a COVID-19 outbreak. Iowa had to cancel three games, including an in-state matchup against Drake and a two-game trip to Cancun, Mexico.

The Hawkeyes faltered in their return to the floor, losing three of five games in the month of December (including a nasty loss to mid-major institution IUPUI). Iowa dropped out of the AP Poll during the week of Jan. 10 — the only week the Hawkeyes were out of the poll.

Then, the Hawkeyes regrouped.

Iowa beat three top-10 teams, defeating Michigan and Indiana (twice) within the final three weeks of the season. The Hawkeyes’ victory over the Wolverines at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 27 sealed the Big Ten regular-season title — an achievement Iowa shared with Ohio State.


The Hawkeyes won the regular-season title for the first time since 2008 and turned their attention to the Big Ten Tournament. As the No. 2 seed, Iowa won three games in three days and became the first Hawkeye women’s basketball team to win both the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles in the same year.

The Hawkeyes earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, giving them a home-court advantage for the first two rounds. The Hawkeyes’ season ended in heartbreak as 10th-seeded Creighton took down Iowa, 64-62, in the second round.

But Iowa’s early exit from the NCAA Tournament doesn’t diminish its accomplishments. The Hawkeyes are still regular season and tournament champions and house the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year.

Czinano, who announced her return for 2022-23, led the nation with a 67.8 field goal percentage. Clark, the Dawn Staley and Nancy Lieberman award winner, led the nation with 27 points and eight assists per game.

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Iowa only lost seniors Logan Cook and Tomi Taiwo from its 2021-22 team, and the Hawkeyes retained over 98 percent of its scoring. The Hawkeyes will return all five starters for a second straight season when the 2022-23 season rolls around.

Freshmen Taylor McCabe and Hannah Stuelke are coming into the program as Nebraska and Iowa’s Gatorade Players of the Year, respectively. Iowa will also add Jada Gyamfi, who played for the All-Iowa Attack AAU program for four years.

Iowa is also adding Molly Davis, a senior transfer from Central Michigan with starting experience. Davis started every game of her three-year career with the Chippewas, averaging 18.6 points per game in 2021-22.

The Hawkeye women’s basketball team was the best to come out of Iowa in 2021-22. And with Iowa checking in at No. 6 in ESPN Women’s Basketball’s Way-Too-Early Top-25, the Hawkeyes are an early favorite to repeat in 2022-23.

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