Confident Gabbie Marshall pushes Iowa women’s basketball past Maryland in Big Ten Tournament semifinals

The senior guard shot 7-of-13 from beyond the arc to help the Hawkeyes advance to their third consecutive conference championship game.


Matt Sindt

Iowa guard Gabbie Marshall looks to pass the ball during a women’s basketball game between No. 7 Iowa and No. 5 Maryland at Target Center in Minneapolis on Saturday, March 4, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 89-84. Marshall scored 21 points.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Editor

MINNEAPOLIS — Gabbie Marshall’s got her swagger back.

The senior guard had 21 points — all coming from the 3-point line — in Iowa’s 89-84 victory over Maryland on Friday night. Marshall went 7-of-13 from beyond the arc, tying a career high, to help push the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten Tournament Championship Game.

Marshall, who has been Iowa’s main 3-point sniper for her entire Hawkeye career, struggled from beyond the arc to start the 2022-23 season.

But she’s heated up over the past nine games, shooting 58 percent from 3-point land in the back half of the season.

“I couldn’t be happier for somebody,” Bluder said. “I mean, Gabbie, she works at it. She was really, pretty down at the beginning of the year. We just kept trying to pour into her and over the last nine games, you know, 58 percent. That’s like a third of the season.”

And for Marshall, it’s all about confidence.

“When you struggle like I did in the beginning, and just knowing the confidence that my coaches and teammates have in me, I knew that I had to start making shots in order to open things up,” Marshall said. “I’m happy that I can do that for the team right now.”

Her confidence shined through when it mattered most on Saturday night — after Maryland tied the game at 79 points apiece late in the fourth quarter, Marshall was ready.

After junior guard Caitlin Clark missed a shot, senior McKenna Warnock got the offensive rebound and passed it out to Marshall, who hit the 3-pointer to put Iowa back up, 82-79.

And while Marshall struggled to remember the specific play postgame, Clark gave her an assist.

“There were five seconds on the shot clock, and we ran a play on the sideline, and I had to get it up,” Clark said. “It went in and out, then McKenna gets a huge o-board. Gabbie standing all alone, hits the three. So honestly, shout out to McKenna because who knows if we don’t get that o-board, they might go down and score, but leaving Gabbie alone was great for them. So, I’m proud of her for making that shot.”

Clark, along with the rest of the Iowa women’s basketball team, never gave up on Marshall’s abilities from the 3-point line. 

But they also know her defensive skills are a constant; Marshall is tied for the team lead with 45 steals and is the Hawkeyes’ main on-ball press defender.

“That’s what we need going down the stretch, her to make big shots, but also her defense is always there for us,” Clark said Friday.”That’s never wavered at all. But it’s awesome to see her get some shots to go down because we see how hard she works and she really puts in the time.”

The Hawkeyes heavily prioritized the 3-point shot on Saturday, heaving up 40 attempts from beyond the arc and making 15 — a 37.5 percent clip.

While Bluder said the heavy attempts beyond the arc were not ideal she still thought the Hawkeyes gave a balanced effort — all five starters finished the game in double figures.

“We shot a good percentage from three, but 40 of our 68 shots were threes,” Bluder said. “That’s not ideal for us, but we still had 28 paint points. So, I love that we were able to balance still getting the ball into [center Monika Czinano.]”

The Hawkeyes  advanced to their third consecutive conference championship game with the win over the Terrapins. Iowa will take on fourth-seeded Ohio State, who upset Indiana, 79-75, earlier on Friday, at 4 p.m. in the Target Center.