No. 4 Iowa women’s basketball notches season-opening victory over Southern

The Hawkeyes blew out the Jaguars, 87-34, on Monday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.


Grace Smith

Iowa forward Hannah Stuelke shoots a 3-pointer during a women’s basketball game between Iowa and Southern University at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022. Stuelke scored 10 points and played for 14 minutes and 27 seconds. The Hawkeyes defeated the Jaguars, 87-34.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

Iowa women’s basketball freshmen Hannah Stuelke and Taylor McCabe saw ample time on the floor in the Hawkeyes’ 87-34 victory over the Southern Jaguars on Monday night.

Stuelke matched senior center Monika Czinano’s 10-point total on Monday and was one of three Hawkeyes to score in double-digits.The freshman from Cedar Rapids played 14 minutes, going 5-for-7 from the floor and grabbing six rebounds.  

“Hannah, you can just see the athleticism ooze out of her,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I mean, it’s just so much fun to watch her play, and she’s so coachable. She wants to get better, and that’s what makes that fun.” 

McCabe was also on the floor for 14 minutes on Monday night. She registered nine points on 3-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.

“She’s got a quick release on that shot,” Bluder said. “It’s really fun to watch.”

Big picture

Every available Hawkeye saw the floor and scored on Monday night, giving  Bluder an opportunity to develop her younger players.

Bluder sees the Hawkeyes first three games of the season against Southern, Evansville, and Drake as opportunities to distribute the ball.

“I thought our bench play was really solid tonight,” Bluder said. “I’m excited about it, because I just feel like we have a little more depth than we’ve ever had, and I think that’s going to be a real asset down the line.”

O’Grady emerges as No. 2 option in post

Sophomore center Addison O’Grady was the first off the bench to replace starter Monika Czinano on Monday night. O’Grady played nine minutes and registered three points.

O’Grady, sophomore Sharon Goodman, and freshman Hannah Stuelke had been competing to be the primary backup to Czinano throughout the offseason.

Goodman, coming off an ACL tear, played six minutes with three points and two turnovers. 

Clark overcomes physical game

Reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Caitlin Clark had to leave the game twice in the first quarter because of minor injuries.

Three minutes into the game, Clark fell awkwardly while driving to the basket and stayed flat on her back. After trainers attended to her, she walked off the court under her own power and into the locker room. She returned to the bench soon after and checked back into the game at the 5-minute mark of the first quarter.

“It was kind of just a freak injury,” Clark said. “I think I just stepped on her foot — I don’t know exactly what happened — and just tweaked my ankle a little bit. But, you know, things like that happen. Obviously, it’s not ideal, but I was just like, ‘Tape it up, I want to get back out there.’”

Later in the first period, Clark was hit in the lip. The hit drew blood, and she came off the floor to stop the bleeding before checking back in.

Clark finished the game with 20 points, leading all scorers. She also grabbed nine rebounds.

Hawkeyes suffer slow start

The No. 4 team in the nation looked sloppy in the first quarter, going 4-of-12 from the field and 0-of-8 from the 3-point line.

The Hawkeyes only scored 15 points in the opening quarter of the season and allowed Southern to collect 10. 

“It wasn’t the prettiest game to start the season,” Bluder said. “Southern came out very physical and I think at first it kind of shocked us a little bit, but we got going in the second quarter.”

The Hawkeyes found their bearings in the second quarter, outscoring Southern 28-5.

Martin, Gyamfi affected by injuries 

Both senior Kate Martin and freshman Jada Gyamfi had new medical gear ahead of the season-opening game.

Martin, who broke her nose twice in the 2020-21 season, was sporting a face mask. Martin started the game and played 23 minutes, contributing five points and four rebounds.

“It’s temporary, but for quite a while, probably about six weeks,” Bluder said. “Unfortunately, she just has a nose that likes to break.”

Bluder added Martin broke her nose in practice.

Gyamfi didn’t dress for the game and was wearing a boot on her left foot. Gyamfi also didn’t appear in the Hawkeyes’ exhibition game against Nebraska-Kearney on Oct. 28.

“First, she had a concussion, then a sprained ankle, so I’m not sure when she’ll be back,” Bluder said. “I’m hoping midweek — that’s coming up — she should be healthy enough to start practice again. She’s missed a lot, though.”

Up next

Iowa will host Evansville on Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tip is at 6:30 p.m. and the game will air on BTN+. The Hawkeyes also hosted the Purple Aces during the 2021-22 season, winning 93-56.