IOWA CITY — For Kathleen Doyle, idleness equaled misery.
“I’m not going to lie; I’ve struggled a lot,” she said. “I love playing basketball, and not playing was really hard for me.”
The return was worth the wait.
Doyle scored a game-high 22 points in Iowa’s 73-70 triumph over Iowa State on Wednesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. She had missed the Hawkeyes’ first seven games due to a third and fourth metacarpal fracture in her left (non-shooting) hand during practice on Nov. 2.
At the time, doctors said she would miss 4-6 weeks, and they were spot on. Her return came 33 days after the injury.
Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder got the call at 4 p.m. Monday that X-rays had revealed that Doyle’s hand had healed enough for her to be cleared.
Doyle practiced Tuesday, then played a major role as the Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones for the third straight year.
A junior, Doyle entered 4 1/2 minutes into the game. She took her first shot about 30 seconds later, missing a shot from the lane.
She stuck her next try, though, at the 8:15 mark of the second quarter. A 3-pointer followed a minute later, and she trotted down the floor with both hands at her hips, signaling three points.
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Doyle made 7 of 17 field-goal attempts, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range. She was perfect on her six foul shots.
Her presence was no surprise for the Cyclones.
“A lot of these things aren’t secrets any more,” ISU Coach Bill Fennelly said. “She played great. Offensively, she gave them a boost when she needed it.”
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