Dominant third quarter hands Iowa women’s basketball Cy-Hawk victory

The Hawkeyes took down the Cyclones, 70-57, following a 27-8 third-quarter effort.


Grace Smith

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark shoots a 3-pointer during a women’s basketball game between No. 10 Iowa and No. 12 NC State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. Clark led the Hawkeyes in points with 45. The Wolfpack defeated the Hawkeyes, 94-81.

Sam Knupp, Sports Reporter

A dominant third quarter led Iowa to a 70-57 victory against Iowa State on Wednesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes trailed, 28-23, at halftime, but outscored the Cyclones 27-8 in the third quarter to take a 50-36 lead going into the final 10 minutes.

“They just did an unbelievable job defensively,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “That third quarter, probably one of the best quarters I’ve seen.”

While the Hawkeyes were trailing at halftime, Bluder said she was happy with her team’s first half defensive effort and was confident their shots were going to start to go in.

Big Picture

The win against the Cyclones is the Hawkeyes’ first against a ranked team this year. It’s also the fewest points Iowa has allowed against a Power Five team — two fewer than the 59 allowed against Oregon State on Nov. 25.

Iowa junior guard Caitlin Clark said the Hawkeyes’ disappointment with their defensive effort against NC State, in which they lost, 94-81, acted as motivation for the Cy-Hawk game.

“We sent a message to teams across the country of what we can do on the defensive end,” Clark said.

The Hawkeyes held the Cyclones to 36.4 percent shooting from the floor.

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said the Cyclones’ hesitance to shoot was part of the reason for his struggles.

“I thought we had some looks and people passed them up,” Fennelly said. “I think we have a lot of kids that really, really care about their team and when they miss they might not want to take the next one.”

The Cyclones also had a stretch in the second and third quarter in which they missed eight consecutive free throws. Fennelly said shooting has been a struggle in a couple games this year, and the free throw misses didn’t help his team’s confidence down the stretch.

Slow offensive start

Both teams got off to a slow start on offense, as the score was tied at 11 at the end of the first quarter. 

Clark, specifically, had a rough start, going 0-for-9 from the floor to start the game. She bounced back, however, to shoot 7-of-12 from the floor in the final 30 minutes. She also grabbed eight rebounds and eight assists.

Clark said her performance shows how she’s matured over the past couple years of collegiate basketball.

“In the past, that would completely take me out of my game,” Clark said. “But I knew in the third quarter, the shots have to go down.”

Double-double for Czinano

Fifth-year senior center Monika Czinano started off hot and stayed that way.

She made all six of her free throws along with 6-of-14 field goals for 18 points and 10 rebounds. She did so while going up against 6-foot-6 Stephanie Soares.

Czinano said the experience she’s had going up against talented bigs early on this year helped her prepare for Soares.

“I feel like I’m better at guarding post drives,” Czinano said, “I just feel a little more agile on my feet, for sure.”

Martin twists ankle

Kate Martin twisted her ankle walking off the court on Wednesday night. The fifth-year senior finished with 13 points, shooting 3-for-4 from beyond the arc with five rebounds.

“She plays for 36 minutes and 13 seconds without an injury, and then walking off the court she twisted her ankle,” Bluder said. “I think she was walking. Hopefully she’ll be okay with that.”

Marshall loses a tooth

Senior guard Gabbie Marshall lost a tooth late in the fourth quarter when she took an elbow to the face.

Fortunately for Marshall, Czinano said, it wasn’t a real tooth that got knocked out — the senior had missing a tooth to begin with.

“Don’t expose her like that,” Clark said through a laugh in response to Czinano.

What’s Next?

Iowa will take on Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

The Golden Gophers sit at 5-4 on the year and most recently took a 80-74 loss at home against Kentucky on Wednesday.