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

Iowa women’s basketball’s Molly Davis embraces undersized guard role, remains fearless and efficient in offense

Davis is a crucial piece in the Hawkeyes’ well-rounded offense.
Grace Smith
Iowa guard Molly Davis, guard Kylie Feuerbach, and guard Taylor McCabe celebrate a play during a home opener basketball game between No. 3 Iowa and Fairleigh Dickinson at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. Iowa scored 66 points in the paint compared to FDU’s 16. The Hawkeyes, defeated the Knights, 102-46.

Few embrace the role of “undersized guard” as well as Iowa women’s basketball’s fifth-year point guard Molly Davis.

The 5-foot-7 guard is a quiet but crucial piece to the No. 4 Hawkeyes’ highly efficient offense. While she’s averaged six points per game so far this season, her floater over much bigger defenders around the rim has proven to be a reliable scoring option behind her three-ball.

Additionally, Davis facilitates even better than she scores.

She makes use of her crafty ball-handling skills and quick movement in the halfcourt to drive toward the rim and draw opposing bigs toward her, eager to block her shot, before she dumps the ball off to her teammates — especially center Sharon Goodman — for easy buckets.

“She looks like this quiet, nice person,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said before noting the opposite about Davis. “To me, she has a sneaky moxie about her. She has no fear.”

Hailing from Midland, Michigan Davis began her college basketball career much closer to home at Central Michigan University — where she quickly excelled, making a name for herself as one of the most efficient players in the Mid-American Conference.

Davis earned All-MAC honors in each of her three seasons for the Chippewas, ranking 23rd in the country in scoring with 20.8 points per game and 13th in threes with 75 as a sophomore. She notched career-highs of 32 points against both Northeastern and Northern Illinois in her junior season.

In just three years at Central Michigan, Davis made her mark on the program’s history. She currently sits:

  • First in points per game in team history with 17.7
  • Eleventh in points with 1434
  • Seventh in assists with 356
  • Sixth in career free throw percentage with 79 percent
  • Eighth in threes with 187

After her third year, Davis made the jump across the Midwest to the Iowa Hawkeyes — a program that gave her a true opportunity to contend for a national title.

In her first year with the Black and Gold last season, Davis’ role diminished significantly as her minutes rose and fell throughout the season.

While her best game of the season came on Feb. 12 as she notched 17 points in 27 minutes on 5-for-7 from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line, Davis saw little time in the Hawkeyes’ NCAA Tournament run.

She played just two minutes against Louisville in the Elite Eight and against South Carolina in the Sweet Sixteen, and she played just eight minutes against LSU in the championship game loss.

So, Davis took the offseason to develop her confidence and her skillset — to mold into a bigger role for the Hawkeyes this year and has already played one-third of her minutes last season.

Davis has started seven of Iowa’s nine games this season, solidifying herself as Iowa’s starting point guard while being flexible enough to play the shooting guard position when Caitlin Clark opts to bring the ball up the floor.

“Molly plays anything we want her to play,” Bluder said of Davis’ versatility.

Davis slowly woke up to begin the 2023-24 campaign, her season-high early on at just four points against Northern Iowa on Nov. 12.

Davis has picked up her pace since then, especially in big-time games.

She scored 10 points in 21 minutes on 3-of-3 from the field and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe in Iowa’s 65-58 loss to Kansas State on Nov. 16 — a game that saw Davis remain efficient while the Iowa offense as a whole stagnated.

“I knew that our outside shots weren’t falling, so I wanted to make an emphasis to get to the rim,” Davis said postgame. “I came in there with an attack mentality to try and draw some fouls and also get to the rim and try and open some other things up as well.”

In fact, Davis began to embrace that attack mentality, scoring another 10 in 27 minutes with three assists in Iowa’s 113-90 win over Drake on Nov. 19.

When the Hawkeyes needed Davis to step up again as the team rematched Kansas State in the championship game of the Gulf Coast Showcase on Nov. 26, she answered the call.

Davis scored a season-high 13 points in 35 minutes on the court, shooting 5-of-9 from the field and adding four assists and four rebounds to her performance in the win — earning her all-tournament honors.

“I really like the way that Molly’s contributing to our team,” Bluder said. “She never forces anything. She understands her role.”

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About the Contributors
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, 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.