Kate Martin injured, Lisa Bluder breaks wins record in Iowa women’s basketball’s victory over Minnesota

Head coach Lisa Bluder earned her 234th Big Ten win on Saturday to break the conference’s women’s basketball wins record.


Gabby Drees

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder celebrates becoming the Big Ten’s all-time leader in regular season conference wins with 234 during a women’s basketball game between Iowa and Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Gophers, 87-64.

Sam Knupp, Sports Reporter

No. 16 Iowa took down Minnesota, 87-64, at home on Saturday for Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder’s conference-leading 234th Big Ten win.

The previous record was held by former Iowa head coach C. Vivian Stringer, who coached college basketball from 1971-2022. Stringer earned her Big Ten wins during her tenure with Iowa and Rutgers. She coached the Hawkeyes from 1983-95 and the Scarlet Knights from 1995-2022. The Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten Conference in 2014.

“Jan Jensen and Jenny Fitzgerald have been there for every single one of those Big Ten wins and so I don’t consider it my honor,” Bluder said. “I consider it our honor.

“The only thing that’s odd about it to me is that C. Vivian Stringer had it, and I grew up as a young coach at St. Ambrose and I’d come over and work her camps, and I’d sneak into her practices and pick her ear,” Bluder added.

Junior guard Caitlin Clark said Bluder earned her wins through making her team a family, not a business

“I promise you it’s not like that everywhere else,” Clark said. “A lot of people are like, ‘This is a brand, a business.’ Here, we’re like a family.  We know there’s way more important things in life than putting a ball through the hoop or getting a win.”

Fifth-year senior Monika Czinano concurred — Bluder looks at her players as people first and athletes second.

“I would never want to play anywhere else,” Czinano said. “I’m so honored to play for her and I’m so celebratory for her.”

Martin injured

Senior guard Kate Martin went down with an injury after colliding with Minnesota’s Alanna Micheaux with 7:28 remaining in the third quarter.

She was helped off the court by two athletic trainers and came back to the bench late in the third quarter on crutches with her right shin wrapped.

“She indicated it was her shin right away,” Bluder said. “And so I was concerned that it broke.  She was in a lot of pain.”

The initial X-ray indicates that Martin likely has a deep bone bruise, Bluder said, but Martin will get a second set of X-rays either on Sunday or Monday.

Bluder said senior guard Molly Davis or sophomore guard Sydney Affolter are the two most likely candidates to take Martin’s place in the starting lineup if the injury keeps her out of upcoming games.

Affolter played 20 minutes on Saturday, grabbed three steals, three rebounds, and scored two points, both from free throws. Davis also played 20 minutes on Saturday, scoring three points off free throws and contributing three rebounds and three assists.

Law firm stands out

Clark and Czinano each had a standout night. The pair started strong, scoring eight points each in the first quarter.

Clark notched another double-double with 32 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. The junior guard hit 11-of-26 field goals on the night and went 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.

Czinano also proved to be a pain for the Golden Gophers. The fifth-year senior put up 22 points and grabbed five rebounds before fouling out with four minutes left.

Czinano sisters face off

Czinano went up against her sister, Minnesota sophomore Maggie Czinano, for the first time in her career on Sunday. While the sisters technically played each other twice in 2021-22, Maggie Czinano did not see the floor in either contest.

Maggie Czinano played 14 minutes, grabbed eight rebounds, and scored four points by shooting 4-for-8 from the free throw line.

“I blocked her one time, and in my head I was like, ‘I cannot wait to bring that up later,”” Monika Czinano said.

What’s Next?

Iowa will take on Northern Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. UNI is 5-3 on the year and is coming off a win against North Dakota State on Tuesday.