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 returns to the win column with efficient shooting against Illinois

The Hawkeyes had four players score in double-digits.
Grace Smith
Iowa guard Kylie Feuerbach shoots a 3-pointer during a basketball game between No. 4 Iowa and Illinois inside a sold-out Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. Feuerbach scored three 3-pointers for Iowa in her 15 minutes and 57 seconds of playing time. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini, 101-85.

Following a loss to No. 14 Indiana, where the Hawkeyes failed to reach 70 points for only the third time this season, the No. 4 Iowa women’s basketball team recovered well against Illinois on Sunday afternoon in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, winning 101-85 while shooting 50 percent from the field and 46 percent from deep.

Four players for the Hawkeyes reached double-digit scoring, with guard Caitlin Clark and forward Hannah Stuelke finishing with 24 and 20 points, respectively. 

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“I’m really happy with the way we shot the ball — and from a variety of people,” head coach Lisa Bluder said during the post-game press conference. “I love that other people stepped up and took responsibility.” 

In a game where Clark wasn’t getting as many clean looks as usual, Iowa’s star guard elected to show why she also leads the NCAA in assists and points, finishing the game with 10 dimes and 15 rebounds to notch her 16th-career triple-double. 

“When other people are doing what they should be doing, it makes [Caitlin’s] job so much easier, and we are a more enjoyable team to watch,” Bluder said. 

Clark’s teammates also fed off of her three-point shooting against the Fighting Illini. Iowa finished the game shooting 45.9 percent from beyond the arc on 17 attempts as guards Molly Davis, Kate Martin, and Kylie Feuerbach each recorded a trio of threes.

Clark said Illinois players would all funnel into the middle of the paint whenever she attempted to drive into the basket, which allowed her to find teammates open from three. 

“They were going to make us prove ourselves from outside, and I thought that’s exactly what we did,” Clark said during the post-game press conference. 

Coming off of the loss to Indiana, where Iowa only shot 17.9 percent from three on 28 attempts, Clark said the team was able to control the pace of the game better against Illinois, and players were more open on shot attempts. 

“When we can consistently knock down outside shots like that, it just opens up the paint for me and really just anybody that wants to drive in there,” she said. 

Iowa finished the game with 28 assists, with many coming from Clark to Stuelke on pick-and-roll plays. Clark said she was able to find Stuelke so much during the game due to Illinois post players helping on Clark as she drove to the hoop. 

“I think the pick and roll is amazing with me and Caitlin, and we have great chemistry on that play,” Stuelke said during the post-game press conference. 

Davis had her best game in nearly a month after playing limited minutes in Iowa’s recent games due to dealing with an illness, finishing with 17 points on 50 percent shooting after recording just nine points combined in her previous four games. 

“This is the Molly that we know, and this is exactly how she was playing before she got sick,” Clark said. “She’s capable of having these types of performances every single night, so it’s something we need from her, but she’s also a good enough player to do it consistently.”

With only two regular season games remaining before tournament season, Bluder said the team will continue to need more than just two players to be relied on to score in crucial moments.

“We need a lot of people stepping up,” Clark said. “It’s hard for the other team [to decide] who they’re going to take away or who they’re going to sell out on.” 

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About the Contributors
Cooper Worth
Cooper Worth, Pregame reporter
Cooper Worth is a Pregame Reporter for The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and mass communication. He is also earning a minor in communication studies and an entrepreneurial management certificate. This is his third year at the DI, previously serving as a News Editor and as a News Reporter covering local government in Johnson County for the DI. Cooper interned for the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa during the summer of 2023 as a general news reporter.
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.