Iowa women’s basketball guard Gabbie Marshall lights-out in second-round win over Georgia

Marshall notched 15 points and nicked two steals to help the Hawkeyes advance to the Sweet 16.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa women’s basketball senior guard Gabbie Marshall dribbles the ball in an NCAA Tournament second-round game against 10th-seeded Georgia at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa won, 74-66, to advance to the Sweet 16 in Seattle.

Colin Votzmeyer, Sports Reporter

Senior guard Gabbie Marshall’s lights-out shooting boosted the Iowa women’s basketball team over Georgia in their second-round matchup on Sunday.

The Cincinnati, Ohio, native finished with 15 points on 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point line in the 74-66 win — 12 of those points came in the second quarter alone, in which she shot 4-for-4 from deep. She hammered the Bulldogs’ zone defense, remaining patient in the corners for the zone to break down and her teammates to swing the ball her way.

In fact, Marshall attributed her shooting to her teammates’ abilities to assist. The Hawkeyes had 21 assists on the day.

“I feel like [my teammates] knew I was hot, and they got me the ball in the right spot,” Marshall said. “I think we’ve always preached, ever since I’ve been here, giving up a good shot for a great shot.”

The Hawkeyes have developed a confidence culture around their shooting, and that was a big motor behind the team’s success.

“I think the belief we have in each other is just astronomical,” Marshall said. “I think every time any of us shoots the ball, it’s going in, and we tell each other [to] keep shooting, and we believe in each other all the time, and the coaches believe in us to keep shooting.”

Despite struggling to hit shots earlier in the season, Marshall remained persistent. She is now shooting 37 percent from beyond the arc this season, having found her groove in the last month — she shot a combined 14-for-25 from the field and 13-for-21 from deep in Iowa’s Big Ten Tournament title run in early March. 

And her hot streak will need to keep rolling if the Hawkeyes want to keep dancing past the Sweet 16 in Seattle on March 24.

“I think, honestly, when you see shots go down, you gain confidence. It’s only going to get harder, and teams are going to get better from here,” Marshall said. “We’re just going to have the same mentality [and] take it game by game. We’re ready. We’re excited, and obviously it’s really special that we get to go to the Sweet 16.”

But it’s not just Marshall’s shooting that draws attention: her defense does too. 

She’s the kind of player not adequately represented by the stat sheet alone, spending Sunday’s game picking up Georgia’s guards in the full court and keeping active hands in passing lanes. She grabbed two steals in the game to bring her season count up to 54, leading the team.

“I always want to bring the energy; I want to be disruptive; I want them to think I’m annoying on defense; I want to guard the best player,” Marshall said. “Anything I can do to give us more possessions on offense, and defense leading to offense is the best way to get your offense flowing. That’s what we needed.”

That defensive mentality has been a major help in Marshall’s climb over the early shooting slump.

“I focused more on defense and things that just involve effort, and then it took my mind off of my shot,” she said. “I feel like that really helped me, and I still try to do that and just let the game come to me.”

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