Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa women's basketball tops Drake, heads into Big Ten play at 9-2

Hawkeyes feast on 22 turnovers by the Bulldogs, scoring 31 points as a result in 79-67 win

IOWA CITY — The Iowa Hawkeyes will open Big Ten action in a week, ahead of schedule and beyond the expectations of most.

“I feel 9-2 is pretty good, with what we’ve lost,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said after the Hawkeyes feasted on 22 Drake turnovers and won Saturday’s non-conference women’s basketball game, 79-67, in front of 7,625 Saturday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa won its fourth straight game and walked off the Carver hardwood as a victor for the 27th consecutive time.

The Hawkeyes slowed a potent Drake outfit, and have allowed a very respectable 61.5 points per game in their current four-game string.

“Our defense has gotten better,” Bluder said.

Kathleen Doyle said, “Drake is a good pass-and-cut team. They really rely on their vision. You want to make them uncomfortable and make their thread-the-needle passes harder.”

The Hawkeyes registered 14 steals — four each by Amanda Ollinger and Gabbie Marshall — and enjoyed a 31-13 advantage in points off turnovers.

That’s the ballgame right there.

Drake (7-4) led throughout the first quarter behind a fast start from Becca Hittner. But Iowa outscored the Bulldogs by a 23-8 margin in the second quarter and took a 37-25 lead into intermission.

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Monika Czinano hit a pair of baskets, Makenzie Meyer added a layup and Doyle tackled on a drive in an 8-0 run in the final 1:21 of the half.

“Maybe I should have taken a timeout somewhere in there,” Drake Coach Jennie Baranczyk said. “We had too many turnovers, and we had turnovers at the wrong times.”

A strong third-quarter push got Drake within 56-53, then the Hawkeyes pulled away for good. Doyle knocked down a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock to make it 73-64 with 3:12 left, then added a steal and a score moments later to ice it.

“As a point guard, it’s your job to get something done at the end of the shot clock, and I’m just glad it went in,” Doyle said.

Meyer led the Hawkeyes with 24 points. Doyle posted 19 points and 10 assists.

And Czinano made 8 of 10 shots, upping her season field-goal accuracy rate to 72.3 percent — tops in the nation — in a 17-point effort.

“I’m really confident in the team right now,” Czinano said.

But, Monika, how about the confidence in yourself?

“I consider myself part of the team,” she said. “You’ve got to have it in yourself and have it in your teammates.”

Sara Rhine paced Drake with 17 points. Hittner cooled after her torrid start and finished with 16.

“We’ve got to get more consistency,” Baranczyk said. “We can’t rely on two people.”

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The Hawkeyes open Big Ten action Dec. 28 at Nebraska. Drake is at Northern Illinois on Dec. 29, then begins Missouri Valley Conference play Jan. 3 at home against Northern Iowa.

IOWA 79, DRAKE 67

At Iowa City

DRAKE (67): Brenni Rose 4-9 0-2 9, Sara Rhine 8-13 1-2 17, Maddie Monahan 2-5 0-0 6, Becca Hittner 6-13 0-0 16, Kierra Collier 1-4 4-4 6, Allie Wooldridge 1-2 0-0 2, Hannah Fuller 0-2 0-0 0, Monica Burich 1-2 0-1 2, Maddie Negaard 1-2 2-2 4, Sarah Beth Gueldner 1-3 0-0 2, Maggie Bair 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 26-57 7-11 67.

IOWA (79): Amanda Ollinger 3-5 0-0 6, Monika Czinano 8-10 1-3 17, Makenzie Meyer 9-14 2-2 24, Alexis Sevillian 4-5 0-0 11, Kathleen Doyle 6-14 6-8 19, Gabbie Marshall 0-3 0-0 0, McKenna Warnock 0-2 2-4 2, Tomi Taiwo 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-56 11-17 79.

Halftime: Iowa 37, Drake 25. 3-point goals: Drake 8-26 (Rose 1-6, Monahan 2-4, Hittner 4-9, Wooldridge 0-1, Fuller 0-1, Negaard 0-1, Gueldner 1-3, Bair 0-1), Iowa 8-22 (Meyer 4-8, Sevillian 3-4, Doyle 1-4, Marshall 0-4, Taiwo 0-2). Team fouls: Drake 17, Iowa 11. Fouled out: Czinano. Rebounds: Drake 34 (Rose 8), Iowa 28 (Ollinger 9). Assists: Drake 15 (Rose 5), Iowa 20 (Doyle 10). Steals: Drake 9 (Wooldridge, Burich, Bair 2), Iowa 14 (Ollinger, Marshall 4). Turnovers: Drake 22, Iowa 14.

Attendance: 7,625.

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

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