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 notebook | No. 6 Hawkeyes conclude regular season with Minnesota, Ohio State

The matchup with the Buckeyes is arguably the biggest of the Hawkeyes’ year.
Grace Smith
Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder speaks with Iowa guard Caitlin Clark 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. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini, 101-85.

The No. 6 Iowa women’s basketball team will conclude the 2023-24 regular season at Minnesota on Wednesday before arguably its biggest game of the year thus far in hosting No. 2 Ohio State on Sunday.

The Hawkeyes, now 24-4, are down to sixth in the AP Poll from fourth last week after a brutal loss to Indiana on Thursday — one of this team’s least efficient offensive performances that saw it compile just 69 points.

But the Black and Gold bounced back beautifully in a 101-85 win over Illinois inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday. It was matchup that responded so well to the loss because it was, this time around, one of this team’s most offensively efficient games all year.

Caitlin Clark amassed a triple-double of 24 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists while forward Hannah Stuelke finished with 20 points and nine boards.

And guard Molly Davis scored 17 with five assists and some gritty defense on the other end of the floor as fellow guard Kate Martin rounded the top Hawkeye scorers out with 13 points in addition to six rebounds and four assists.

In the penultimate regular season game this year, the Hawkeyes will travel north to Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a rematch with the Golden Gophers on Wednesday.

Iowa last beat Minnesota, 94-71, on Dec. 30 as Clark scored 35 on 8-of-16 from three with 10 assists but nine turnovers. Behind her came Stuelke with 19 points on just one missed shot from the field with eight rebounds and Martin with 13 points of her own.

In that game, Minnesota’s Amaya Battle led the Golden Gophers with 16 points on just 7-of-17 from the field. 

And the Gopher’s season-long leader in guard Mara Braun had a poorer night with just 15 points, but the team announced on Jan. 29 that she suffered a foot injury against Illinois that week and has since been ruled out indefinitely after surgery — leaving a massive void in this team that has since struggled to get going and go on runs without her.

Minnesota is down to 15-12 overall with a handful of losing skids since last playing Iowa, making this a momentum game for the Hawkeyes to get some more experience playing in an away atmosphere — where they have struggled this season but will need to improve come the postseason — as they move into a massive season finale.

Big as the What?

It’ll be the regular season’s Super Bowl this Sunday.

The Hawkeyes will host the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday in what looks like the biggest game of this team’s season thus far.

That’s because the Hawkeyes dropped one in overtime in Columbus, Ohio, on Jan. 21 — in which the Buckeyes dropped a massive 100 points on Iowa, the latter of which unable to get anything really moving in extra time.

Clark put together a 45-point performance on 12-of-25 from the field, 7-of-18 from deep, and 14-of-16 from the free throw line with seven assists but seven turnovers. And — unlike the Illinois win last week — she did not have much help around her.

Although Davis scored 14 with just one miss from the field and eight assists, Stuelke and Martin struggled to find the bottom of the bucket all the night.

And the Iowa defense did not have an answer to the OSU attack, led by Cotie McMahon’s 33 points on 23 shots from the field — all inside of the three-point arc — and 12 boards. And Jacy Sheldon scored 24 on 9-of-16 from the field while Rebeka Mikulasikova, Taylor Thierry, and Celeste Taylor each scored in double figures.

The Buckeyes are now 24-3 overall and have been on a tear since beating the Hawkeyes, rising just shy of the top of the AP Poll and sitting one spot below Dawn Staley’s powerhouse South Carolina Gamecocks.

The Buckeyes crushed Wisconsin by nearly 40 and beat then-No. 10 Indiana by five before smashing Minnesota, Michigan State, and Nebraska — the latter two when they were both receiving votes in the AP Poll.

OSU will play Michigan first on Wednesday before traveling to Iowa for a highly anticipated finale to a historic season. It’s a rematch that will see the Hawkeyes look for vengeance and a strong push of momentum into the postseason while the Buckeyes have a chance to prove they are a championship-caliber team … just days before the Big Ten Tournament begins.

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.