Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa women's basketball does it again, erasing 17-point deficit to top Wisconsin

No. 22 Hawkeyes defeat Badgers for the 21st straight time, 85-78

Iowa's Monika Czinano, waving to the fans after the Indiana game, scored 12 fourth-quarter points Sunday, and the Hawkey
Iowa's Monika Czinano, waving to the fans after the Indiana game, scored 12 fourth-quarter points Sunday, and the Hawkeyes rallied from a 17-point deficit to win at Wisconsin, 85-78. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

MADISON, Wis. — Lisa Bluder usually starts a postgame press conference with a statement.

Sunday, she opened with a question:

“How do we keep doing this?” she said.

For the third straight game, 22nd-ranked Iowa dug itself a double-digit hole. And for the third straight game, they stormed out of it.

The Hawkeyes used a 20-2 third-quarter blitz to erase a 17-point deficit. Then, with the game in the balance, Monika Czinano carried them home for an 85-78 Big Ten women’s basketball victory over Wisconsin before a crowd of 6,460 at the Kohl Center.

“I’ve heard people call us the Cardiac Kids, but we don’t want to keep that nickname,” Iowa’s Makenzie Meyer said. “We have a lot of grit and resiliency.”

Iowa (15-3, 6-1 Big Ten) defeated Wisconsin (9-9, 1-6) for the 21st straight time. And it remained in a first-place Big Ten tie with Northwestern (Rutgers can join them with a win Monday).

In the last eight days, the Hawkeyes:

 Rallied from a 14-point deficit and outlasted Indiana, 91-85, in double-overtime.

 Trailed Minnesota by 15 — including 13 with eight minutes left — and escaped, 76-75.

 Climbed out of a 52-35 crater early in the third quarter here.

As Bluder asked, how do they keep doing this?

“The better question is why is this team getting behind,” senior guard Kathleen Doyle said. “But we keep fighting back, and I’m proud of how we play the whole 40 minutes.”

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The Hawkeyes “came out flat,” according to Meyer, and the Badgers pounced. Wisconsin closed the first quarter with a 20-5 run and ended the second quarter with a 19-8 spree for a 50-35 lead.

Kendra Van Leeuwen’s basket opened the second half for a 17-point margin. Instead of edging their way back, the Hawkeyes erased the deficit in a hurry, and Meyer’s 3-pointer put Iowa up 55-54 with 3:57 left in the third quarter.

“In the first half, nothing was going our way,” Bluder said. “In the third quarter, we played a little zone. That was the only real change. The big thing, we just did a lot of things better.”

The lead went back and forth 10 times from there, then Czinano helped the Hawkeyes pull away for good.

After playing just four minutes in the first half, Czinano scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, including go-ahead baskets at 75-74 and 77-76. Then she made 3 of 4 free throws to push the advantage to 80-76 with 0:50 remaining.

“Getting into foul trouble is something I need to avoid,” Czinano said. “Obviously, it was a bummer.

“We had to click it into another gear and produce some stops defensively.”

Amanda Ollinger, Meyer and Sevillian combined to make 5 of 6 from the line to ice it.

Meyer scored 22 points, Doyle 21 and Czinano 20 (on 8-of-9 shooting) for the Hawkeyes.

“They put the ball in their seniors’ hands, and you can see how special a player Doyle is,” Wisconsin Coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “We knew they weren’t going to stay quiet for four quarters.”

Imani Lewis paced Wisconsin with 18 points. Niya Beverley scored 16, and Abby Laszewski posted 14 points and 12 rebounds.

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The Hawkeyes return home this week for games against Ohio State (Thursday) and Michigan State (Sunday). Megan Gustafson’s jersey will be retired Sunday.

IOWA 85, WISCONSIN 78

At Madison, Wis.

IOWA (85): Amanda Ollinger 2-7 1-2 5, Monika Czinano 8-9 4-5 20, Makenzie Meyer 6-9 6-6 22, Alexis Sevillian 0-4 2-2 2, Kathleen Doyle 8-14 4-6 21, Tomi Taiwo 0-0 0-0 0, McKenna Warnock 3-9 0-1 6, Gabbie Marshall 2-4 0-0 4, Kate Martin 2-3 0-0 5, Logan Cook 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 31-59 17-22 85.

WISCONSIN (78): Abby Laszewski 7-15 0-1 14, Imani Lewis 7-14 4-6 18, Kendra Van Leeuwen 3-6 0-0 7, Niya Beverley 7-14 0-0 16, Sydney Hilliard 4-9 1-4 9, Suzanne Gilreath 3-4 0-0 9, Julie Pospisilova 1-3 0-0 3, Tara Stauffacher 1-1 0-0 2, Diamond Bragg 0-0 0-0 0, Alex Luehring 0-0 0-0 0, Sydney Mathiason 0-0 0-0 0, Kara Crowley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 33-66 5-11 78.

Halftime: Wisconsin 50, Iowa 35. 3-point goals: Iowa 6-19 (Meyer 4-6, Sevillian 0-2, Doyle 1-3, Warnock 0-5, Marshall 0-1, Martin 1-2), Wisconsin 7-18 (Van Leeuwen 1-2, Beverley 2-6, Hilliard 0-4, Gilreath 3-4, Pospisilova 1-2). Team fouls: Iowa 13, Wisconsin 18. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Iowa 28 (Ollinger 9), Wisconsin 37 (Laszewski 12). Assists: Iowa 20 (Meyer, Doyle 6), Wisconsin 18 (Beverley 7). Steals: Iowa 8 (Meyer 3), Wisconsin 4 (Lewis 2). Turnovers: Iowa 10, Wisconsin 14.

Attendance: 6,460.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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