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. 4 Iowa women’s basketball flies as unit in efficient win over Bowling Green

Iowa logged 72 paint points and 29 assists in a highly efficient offensive performance over Bowling Green.
Iowa+guard+Caitlin+Clark+takes+a+shot+during+a+basketball+game+between+No.+4+Iowa+and+Bowling+Green+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+in+Iowa+City+on+Saturday%2C+Dec.+2%2C+2023.+Clark+shot+10-of-20+in+field+goals%2C+scoring+24+points+for+Iowa.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Falcons%2C+99-65.
Grace Smith
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark takes a shot during a basketball game between No. 4 Iowa and Bowling Green at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. Clark shot 10-of-20 in field goals, scoring 24 points for Iowa. The Hawkeyes defeated the Falcons, 99-65.

The Iowa women’s basketball team put up a dominant offensive performance in the 99-65 win over Bowling Green on Saturday. 

The Hawkeyes finished the game shooting 66.7 percent from the field, converting 42-of-63 field goals and 6-of-17 three-pointers. Iowa did most of its damage inside the arc, though, scoring 72 of the 99 points inside the paint on 36-of-46 shooting. 

Star guard Caitlin Clark led the way for the Hawkeyes with 24 points. Despite going 2-for-11 from three, Clark converted 8-of-9 field goals inside the arc along with two made free throws. 

Hawkeye graduate student guard Kate Martin and third-year guard Sydney Affolter combined for 31 points on 14-of-16 shooting behind Clark, all coming from within the three-point line. 

“I think I’ve been getting a lot of paint points,” Martin said about her efficient shooting as of late. “I think I can attack the basket really well, especially whenever we have really great shooters on the perimeter … We’ve tried to get our feet in the paint.”

The efficient shooting inside of the paint is credited to Iowa’s ball movement. 

Bowling Green’s defensive strategy against Clark, in which they often double-teamed her at the top of the court, was constantly exploited on Iowa’s way to 29 assists on 42 made field goals beyond last year’s AP Player of the Year. The 29 assists recorded is the second-highest assist total in a game this season.

“72 paint points — I mean, those are high-percentage shots,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said postgame. “In their diamond-and-one [defense], we were able to just get layups … If you’re going to take away Caitlin [Clark] then we will take the layup.”

Despite the Falcons’ defensive game plan centered around Clark, she took advantage of it as she racked up 11 assists that led to 24 Hawkeye points.  

Four of the Hawkeyes’ six three-point makes came in the first quarter — thus only making two threes through the last three quarters. Their constant attack on the interior was the separator in this contest. However, Martin credits Iowa’s defense as the reason they won this game. 

“[The reason we pulled away] was our defensive intensity,” said Martin. “We just let our defense flow into our offense, and we were getting buckets in transition. I think sometimes we can come out a little cold [to begin the game]. We knew we needed to step it up on defense. We let that translate into some of our points there, and it helped.”

Still, offense is where the Hawkeyes excel. 

Through nine games this season, Iowa is averaging 91.2 points per game and has scored 821 total points — the second-most in the country behind LSU.

The Hawkeyes’ offense is obviously centered around an all-time great in Clark but remains dominant night-in and night-out because they play as a team, a strategy that has developed over the course of the season thus far.

Their performance against Bowling Green is a great example of that. 

“I think we really emphasize passing up a good shot for a great shot,” Affolter said. “We had a lot more ‘one-more’ passes that were really great.”

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About the Contributors
Chris Meglio, Sports Reporter
(he/him/his)
Chris Meglio is a first year student at the University of Iowa studying a double major in sport studies and journalism. He will be working as a sports journalist for The Daily Iowan covering women's volleyball for the fall sports season.
Grace Smith, Senior photojournalist and filmmaker
she/her/hers
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.