The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

No. 2 Iowa women’s basketball earns bounce-back win over Drake, shows improved shooting

The Hawkeyes won with 113 points to the Bulldogs’ 90 on a 64-54-91 shooting split.
Grace Smith
Iowa guard Kate Martin celebrates scoring a three-pointer during a basketball game between No. 2 Iowa and Drake at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023.

The No. 2 Iowa women’s basketball team earned a bounce-back win over the Drake Bulldogs, 113-90, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on a Sunday night of much better shooting.

The Hawkeyes came back nicely from suffering their first loss of the season to the Kansas State Wildcats, 65-58, on Thursday behind a poor shooting performance across the board.

The story tonight was much different.

Caitlin Clark scored 35 points on the night on 14-for-22 from the field and 5-of-11 from three with 10 assists and six rebounds.

Hawkeye guard Kate Martin followed closely behind her with crucial support in the scoring effort, compiling a career-high 25 points on an impressive 10-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from deep.

“I just shot it with confidence tonight,” Martin said. “It was just confidence, and I’m just glad that I could step up tonight and knock [the shots] down.”

And Iowa center Sharon Goodman used her size to her advantage against Drake’s smaller forwards, finishing the game with 15 points on 7-of-11 from the field. 

“Well, we played a little bit better than we did on Thursday night, which we’re very thankful for,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I thought we came out and resumed playing Iowa basketball … Our energy level was a lot better out there tonight. We were more focused.”

Fifth-year guard Molly Davis, who finished with 10 points, started again for the Hawkeyes after coming off of the bench on Thursday, and she proved her worth to the starting lineup early.

Davis got on the board first with an easy layup on the left side immediately after the tip-off, that tip going to Clark first and then right to her as she cut to the rim. Davis also found a transition three and another transition layup at the buzzer — tallying seven points in the first quarter alone.

“Molly’s somebody that’s going to go out there and be aggressive; she’s not going to shy away from the moment,” Clark said. “She improved so much throughout the summer. Her confidence has improved, so that’s what we need every single night out of her. I’m just proud of her. When she plays with that same confidence, she’s a really, really great player and is not somebody you want to leave open.”

The Bulldogs opened the half set in a two-three zone on defense, collapsing on Hawkeye drives and opening the three-point arc for deep shots. But as Clark shot just 1-of-4 from beyond the arc in the first, she often opted to attack the rim to score points. Still, the Hawkeyes shot a collective 4-of-7 from three in the quarter.

Drake had a quick answer early in the first, pushing the ball up the floor and thus exchanging buckets with Iowa, but the two went into the second with the Hawkeyes leading, 37-24.

The Bulldogs’ quick-hitting offense continued into the second, trying again and again to etch away at the Hawkeyes’ lead as Clark’s semi-slump — by her standards — from beyond the arc continued: She missed all three of her deep ball attempts in the second quarter.

Second-year Taylor McCabe found valuable minutes for the Hawkeyes toward the end of the second, nailing a three from the right and again from the left shortly after that.

Rallying behind McCabe into halftime, Clark capped the first half off with two big buckets for 17 total points and six steals in quarters one and two. Thus, the Hawkeyes led comfortably, 64-41, for the most points in a half in the program’s history — with 22 points coming off of the Bulldogs’ 15 turnovers.

“I thought my defense was a little better tonight,” Clark said. “I thought I just played with more energy … When I just play with more energy, my all-around game is a lot better, so that’s what I tried to focus on tonight.”

Getting into a groove

Davis opened the Hawkeyes’ second-half scoring effort too, nailing a corner three on the left to bring her points into double-digits, but the Bulldogs began the third quarter on a 14-7 run.

After Clark’s effortless catch-and-shoot three found the bottom of the bucket, Iowa’s second unit kept the lead together, led by Martin and guard Sydney Affolter’s efforts on both ends of the floor and highlighted by Martin’s three from the top of the key.

And Clark finally got into a groove, another catch-and-shoot three from the left making her 2-for-2 from deep in the quarter and putting the Hawkeyes up, 88-66 moving into the final quarter.

“I knew I would get it going there, so it felt good to see a few go through the rim,” Clark said. “I hit a couple in transition, and that’s where I like to thrive, so it’s fun to have those moments.”

A pair of free throws gave Martin her 20th point — and her 25th on a corner three shortly after. 

After two deep threes from the right wing gave Clark her 35th point of the night, Hawkeye fans were on their feet, and Bluder dug into her bench depth to close out the win. 

Up next

The 4-1 Hawkeyes will take four days of rest and fine-tuning before traveling to Estero, Florida, for the Gulf Coast Showcase over the weekend.

Iowa begins the event with a contest against Purdue-Fort Wayne on Nov. 24.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Colin Votzmeyer
Colin Votzmeyer, Assistant Sports Editor
Colin Votzmeyer is a junior at the University of Iowa studying journalism and mass communication with minors in history and criminology, law, and justice. Prior to his role as assistant sports editor, he previously served as digital producer, news reporter covering crime, cops, and courts, and sports reporter covering track and field and women's basketball. He plans on attending law school after his graduation with hopes of pursuing a career as a criminal defense attorney.
Grace Smith
Grace Smith, Senior photojournalist and filmmaker
Grace Smith is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic Arts. In her four years at The Daily Iowan, she has held the roles of photo editor, managing summer editor, and visual storyteller. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Grace has held an internship at The Denver Post and pursued freelance assignments for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register.