Iowa women’s basketball demolishes Penn State, Caitlin Clark grabs ninth career triple-double

The junior guard extended her Big Ten-leading triple-double mark to nine in a 95-51 win over Penn State on Sunday.


Matt Sindt

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark rushes past Nebraska guard Sam Haiby during a women’s basketball game between No. 10 Iowa and Nebraska at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Huskers, 80-76.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

Iowa women’s basketball junior guard Caitlin Clark extended her Big Ten-leading career triple-double mark on Sunday.

The reigning Big Ten Player of the Year dropped her ninth-career triple-double in the Hawkeyes’ 95-51 win over Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania.

In 31 minutes on the court, Clark totaled 23 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds against the Nittany Lions. She was the only starter to play over 23 minutes.

She and fifth-year senior center Monika Czinano combined for 37 of the Hawkeyes’ 95 points. Czinano shot 7-of-10 from the field for 14 points — her seventh straight game shooting over 70 percent.

Czinano is currently third in the NCAA with a 67.19 season field goal percentage.

“Monika Czinano has shot over 70 percent in her last seven games, that’s just nuts,” head coach Lisa Bluder said on the Hawkeye Radio Network postgame show. “I honestly believe we have the best point guard-center combo in the nation.”

Big picture

Iowa improved to 19-4 overall and 11-1 in conference with the win over Penn State.

The Hawkeyes have beaten the Nittany Lions by a combined 85 points in two games this season — Iowa notched a 41-point win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 108-67, on Jan. 14, and a 44-point victory in the 95-51 final on Sunday.

“Obviously, Penn State is not a strong team in the league,” associate head coach Jan Jensen said on the Hawkeye Radio Network postgame show. “But what we talked to our staff and to our team about is, ‘If you’re wanting and desiring to be elite, you have to come in and do what you should do against an inferior opponent in the sense of records, in the sense of what’s been happening since the beginning of the season to now.’”

Iowa controls game from start to finish

Iowa spent nearly 39 minutes with the lead over Penn State on Sunday, and the Hawkeyes’ largest lead was 49 points — which came at the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter.

“I’m so proud of this group; we came out and took control right off the bat,” Bluder said. “This was just a beautiful game. We have 28 assists on 39 baskets, and some of the passes were just amazing.”

All 14 Hawkeyes saw action on the court and recorded a statistic. The Hawkeyes had 35 bench points, including nine from freshman Hannah Stuelke and eight from senior Molly Davis.

“We couldn’t be happier with their start, their middle, and their finish,” Jensen said. “… If there was ever a trap game, this was one. Because we were sandwiched in between [No. 8] Maryland and then the [No. 4] Indiana game on Thursday.”

Hawkeyes work through travel troubles

Jensen said the Hawkeyes had multiple travel issues going to State College, Pennsylvania, on Saturday night.

Iowa’s flight was delayed three hours, Jensen said, so the Hawkeyes missed their Friday night shootaround and didn’t get into State College and eat dinner until 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time. 

The Hawkeyes also had to work through an hour-ahead time change, but Jensen said Iowa stayed locked in.

“There were plenty of things that could’ve been a hitch in our giddyup,” Jensen said. “They just really were locked in, there really was no worry.”

Up next

Iowa will travel to Bloomington, Indiana, to take on No. 4 Indiana on Thursday.

The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers are tied at the top of the Big Ten with identical 11-1 conference records.

“What a great premier matchup with teams that are balling out: Indiana and us,” Jensen said. “Right now, sitting at the top of the league — obviously that would help whoever wins it, but there’s a lot of basketball left. We all know what we have coming up.”

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