Iowa women’s basketball takes down No. 8 Maryland, captures fourth straight win over ranked opponents

Junior guard Caitlin Clark led the Hawkeyes to a 96-82 victory over the Terrapins at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, dropping 42 points.


Madyson Gomez

Head coach Lisa Bluder gives her team the game plan during a women’s basketball game between Iowa and Maryland at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Thursday, February 2, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 96-82.

Colin Votzmeyer, Sports Reporter

The No. 6 Iowa women’s basketball team won its seventh-straight game — and fourth against ranked opponents this season — on Thursday night, taking down No. 8 Maryland, 96-82, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The seven-straight wins marks a season best for the Hawkeyes.

Senior forward McKenna Warnock, the Hawkeyes’ third-leading scorer with 11.9 points per game, started in her return to action after sitting out the last two games with an injury she suffered against Michigan State Jan. 18.

“I just wanted to get back as fast as I could,” Warnock said. “I’m just pushing through and taking it day-by-day.”

The Hawkeyes started the first quarter with two quick turnovers, but junior guard Caitlin Clark took off with 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field. 

Clark continued with 13 more points in the second quarter, shooting 4-for-5 from deep with an and-one three from the wing, for a total of 24 points in the half. Iowa fifth-year senior forward Monika Czinano followed closely behind, dominating in the paint with 12 points in the second quarter and 18 total in the half.

“I think anytime you can set the tone early on your home court, it’s hard to battle back when you’re on the road,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I thought that was an outstanding beginning. Some of Caitlin’s shots were crazy, but we got Monika some really high percentage shots.”

Maryland outscored the Hawkeyes 22-18 in the third quarter, aided by the Hawkeyes’ five turnovers. 

Freshman Hannah Stuelke led Iowa in scoring for the quarter with seven points, leaking out on defensive rebounds for quick layups. 

“I think we got stops on defense,” Clark said. “That’s what leads to transition offense. When we got into our transition offense, they really struggled to stop us.”

The Hawkeyes and Terrapins both scored 22 points in the fourth quarter, and Iowa kept a steady pace to secure a 96-82 win. Clark led the scoring again for Iowa with 13 points in the fourth for a total of 42 — just three short of her season-high.

“I feel like the University of Iowa has had a little rivalry with Maryland over the past few years,” Clark said. “I haven’t beaten Maryland in my career, so this one probably felt a little better for me.”

The Hawkeyes are now 19-4 overall and 10-1 in the conference — half a game behind Big Ten-leading Indiana.

Clark and Czinano carry

Clark’s 42 points combined with Czinano’s 28 for 70 of Iowa’s 96 total points. The performance marks Clark’s second 40-point game of the season.

Clark and Czinano were a combined 27-for-37 from the field.

“That’s pretty good, but I thought we started off really good in the first half,” Clark said. “My shot felt good. I thought we took really good shots as a team. I didn’t feel like we forced anything.”

After her 33-point performance in a win against Nebraska Jan. 28, Clark earned a co-Big Ten Player of the Week honor and was listed on the Wooden Award watch list alongside Czinano. Tonight, Bluder said she doesn’t know how Clark could not be deserving of a national award. 

“I don’t know how you can not say that Caitlin Clark is not the National Player of the Year,” Bluder said. “She was unbelievable tonight.”

Up next

The Hawkeyes will hit the road for a rematch with the Penn State Nittany Lions on Sunday in University Park, Pennsylvania.

The Nittany Lions are 13-10 overall and 4-8 in the Big Ten. Iowa won, 108-67, in their last meeting Jan. 14 at Carver Hawkeye Arena.

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