Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa rolls past Clemson in Tania Davis' return to Carver

Monika Czinano tallies 24 in Hawkeyes' 74-60 ACC/Big Ten Challenge

IOWA CITY — The postgame handshake line evolved into a traffic jam of hugs.

Coaches, staff and players embraced Tania Davis. Monika Czinano capped it by lifting her in a bearhug, and twirling her around.

“Tania is an amazing person, an amazing friend,” Czinano said. “The connections you make in basketball, they last and last.”

Czinano wasn’t as friendly during the game, scoring 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting to lead Iowa past Clemson, 74-60, as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge women’s basketball event in front of 5,884 Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

A point guard who overcame two major knee injuries to help lead Iowa to a Big Ten tournament championship and the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament last season, Davis was on the visiting bench Wednesday as a Clemson graduate manager.

“You see her walk out in orange and purple, those ugly colors, and sit at the end of the other bench, and it’s strange,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “Then the game starts, and you forget about it.”

Before the game, Davis and Hannah Stewart were presented their 2019 Big Ten tournament championship rings. After the game, 21 hugs, if you were counting.

The victory was Iowa’s 25th straight at Carver, and ended a three-game losing streak for the Hawkeyes in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

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Many of Czinano’s baskets came from post feeds, primarily from Kathleen Doyle and Makenzie Meyer, who collected nine assists apiece.

Twenty-eight of Iowa’s 30 baskets were assisted.

“They were high-IQ passes,” Czinano said.

Doyle returned the compliment.

“Monika ... what you see in a game, you see in practice,” Doyle said. “She’s earning everything she’s getting.”

The Hawkeyes (6-2) turned the game in their favor with a 24-6 first-half spree that turned a 16-11 deficit into a 35-22 advantage. Clemson (3-6) got within two points on three occasions in the second half before Iowa pulled away for good.

Doyle added 14 points, but her assist total was neutralized somewhat by eight turnovers.

“You’ve got to take some risks, or you’re not going to learn,” Bluder said. “You’re not going to get better.”

Amanda Ollinger added 11 points and nine rebounds, but was hit in the jaw late in the game and didn’t return.

Five different Hawkeyes — Meyer, Doyle, Alexis Sevillian, Gabbie Marshall and McKenna Warnock — had 3-pointers — in the first quarter.

“We shot the ball pretty well from all areas tonight,” Bluder said. “And we had 14 steals; our defense led to offense tonight.”

Clemson could have used Davis’ ball-security ability. The Tigers finished with 22 turnovers, against just 10 assists.

Kobi Thornton led the visitors with 17 points.

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The Hawkeyes play at Iowa State next Wednesday, then return home Dec. 14 for a game with North Carolina Central.

IOWA 74, CLEMSON 60

At Iowa City

CLEMSON (60): Amari Robinson 4-7 3-4 11, Kobi Thornton 8-19 1-4 17, Tylar Bennett 0-1 0-0 0, Kendall Spray 4-9 0-0 12, Shania Meertens 2-7 2-5 6, Hannah Hank 1-3 0-0 2, Mikayla Hayes 1-2 0-0 2, Destiny Thomas 2-3 0-0 4, Chyna Cotton 1-2 0-0 3, Kaylee Sticker 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 24-54 6-13 60.

IOWA (74): Amanda Ollinger 5-6 1-1 11, Monika Czinano 11-15 2-3 24, Makenzie Meyer 2-10 0-0 6, Alexis Sevillian 1-8 0-0 3, Kathleen Doyle 6-10 0-0 14, McKenna Warnock 2-5 2-2 7, Gabbie Marshall 3-4 0-0 9, Kate Martin 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 30-62 5-6 74.

Halftime: Iowa 39, Clemson 34. 3-point goals: Clemson 6-12 (Spray 4-7, Meertens 0-1, Thomas 0-1, Cotton 1-2, Sticker 1-1), Iowa 9-25 (Meyer 2-8, Sevillian 1-6, Doyle 2-4, Warnock 1-1, Marshall 3-4, Martin 0-2). Team fouls: Clemson 14, Iowa 10. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Clemson 33 (Robinson, Thornton 5), Iowa 34 (Ollinger 9). Assists: Clemson 10 (four with 2), Iowa 28 (Meyer, Doyle 9). Steals: Clemson 8 (Thornton, Bennett 2), Iowa 14 (Meyer 4). Turnovers: Clemson 22, Iowa 17.

Attendance: 5,884.

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

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