Iowa Women's Basketball

'Painful at times,' but Iowa women's basketball pulls away from Florida Atlantic

Kathleen Doyle hits the 1,000-point mark; game features 49 turnovers and 53 fouls

IOWA CITY — No doubt about it, this was a slog.

“It was one of the longest games I’ve been a part of,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “It was not a pretty game ... it was painful at times.”

Iowa finally asserted itself in the final 16 minutes and ran away from an overmatched Florida Atlantic squad, 85-53, in the Hawkeyes’ season opener in front of 3,334 Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes won their 22nd straight game at Carver, and Bluder improved to 20-0 in season openers at Iowa.

This had to have been one of the most choppy of the 20. The game featured 49 turnovers and 53 fouls. Iowa’s 40 free-throw attempts was only three less than its most ever at Carver.

But beauty points are irrelevant. Iowa is 1-0.

“Our offense is designed to get us to the free-throw line a lot,” Bluder said. “And tonight, we got there a lot.”

Iowa was 31 of 40 from the line.

Five Hawkeyes reached double figures, led by Kathleen Doyle’s 15-point effort.

A preseason all-Big Ten choice, Doyle reached the 1,000-point mark for her career with a pair of free throws late in the first quarter. She became the 37th player in school history to get there.

“It’s pretty cool,” Doyle said. “I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, because we were behind. But it’s definitely cool.”

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Iowa held a tenuous 40-37 lead with six minutes left in the third quarter, but freshman Gabbie Marshall drilled a 3-pointer to awaken the Hawkeyes. It was 57-44 by the end of the quarter, then Iowa closed it out with a 28-9 fourth-quarter push.

Monika Czinano added 14 points, Alexis Sevillian 12, Marshall 11. McKenna Warnock, another freshman, posted 10 points and 10 rebounds in less than 15 minutes on the court.

Marshall came to Iowa with a reputation as a long-range sharpshooter. She was called for two quick fouls in the first half, sat, then asserted herself after intermission.

“Obviously, I was nervous coming into my first college game,” Marshall said. “My teammates encouraged me and kept me calm. Then I came back in the second half and finished strong.”

“We know Gabbie can shoot the ball,” Bluder said.

A member of Conference USA that finished 5-25 last year, Florida Atlantic (0-1) shot 22 percent from the floor, including 18.5 percent in the second half. Crystal Primm had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Owls.

Bluder prides Iowa’s penchant for the assist, and the Hawkeyes did have 18 of them Thursday. But they also committed 24 turnovers.

“It was a pretty ugly game,” Doyle said. “But we’ll take the win. We’re going to get better and more smooth from here.”

Iowa hosts North Alabama next Thursday.

IOWA 85, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 53

At Iowa City

FLORIDA ATLANTIC (53): Juliette Gauthier 0-10 2-2 2, Amber Gaston 4-5 1-2 10, Crystal Primm 2-13 10-12 14, Lotta Vehka-Aho 4-15 4-4 13, Alexa Zaph 1-4 0-0 3, Glenisha Harkless 1-3 4-4 7, Taniya Gordon 0-1 0-0 0, Abby Voss 1-4 1-2 4, Nikola Azola 0-2 0-0 0, Allie Tylka 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 13-58 22-26 53.

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IOWA (85): Amanda Ollinger 3-7 0-0 6, Monika Czinano 4-5 6-9 14, Makenzie Meyer 2-11 3-4 7, Alexis Sevillian 2-7 6-6 12, Kathleen Doyle 3-10 7-8 15, Kate Martin 1-5 2-2 4, Gabbie Marshall 4-6 0-0 11, Tomi Taiwo 1-3 1-2 3, McKenna Warnock 2-3 6-7 10, Logan Cook 0-1 0-0 0, Megan Meyer 1-1 0-0 3, Zion Sanders 0-0 0-0 0, Paula Valino Ramos 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 23-59 31-40 85.

Halftime: Iowa 38, FAU 29. 3-point goals: FAU 5-27 (Gauthier 0-8, Gaston 1-2, Primm 0-1, Vahka-Aho 1-8, Zaph 1-1, Harkless 1-3, Voss 1-3, Ozola 0-1), Iowa 8-22 (Mak. Meyer 0-5, Sevillian 2-5, Doyle 2-4, Martin 0-2, Marshall 3-4, Taiwo 0-1, Meg. Meyer 1-1). Team fouls: FAU 31, Iowa 22. Fouled out: Gauthier, Gaston, Harkless. Rebounds: FAU 37 (Primm 10), Iowa 49 (Warnock 10). Assists: FAU 8 (Vehka-Aho 5), Iowa 18 (Doyle, Mak. Meyer 5). Steals: FAU 7 (Zaph 3), Iowa 5 (Mak. Meyer 2). Turnovers: FAU 25, Iowa 24.

Attendance: 3,334.

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

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