Iowa Women's Basketball

Northwestern feasts on Iowa turnovers, rallies for 87-80 win

Hawkeyes waste a 17-of-19, 34-point effort by Monika Czinano

IOWA CITY — Once again, Northwestern didn’t have an answer for Monika Czinano.

And once again, her herculean effort was wasted.

Iowa coughed up 23 turnovers — which led to 28 Northwestern points — and the 23rd-ranked Wildcats finally solved their free-throw foibles at the end of an 87-80 Big Ten women’s basketball triumph Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“Turnovers continue to plague our team,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “Give the other team 14 more opportunities to shoot the ball, and it’s tough to win games.”

Northwestern (9-3, 7-3 Big Ten) trailed by nine points midway through the third quarter, and the Wildcats were down 69-65 when Iowa’s Tomi Taiwo nailed a 3-pointer with 4:35 to go. But they followed with an 11-3 spurt that swung the game their way for good.

“Basketball is a game of runs. We went on one, and we knew they were going to strike back,” Iowa’s Caitlin Clark said. “We’ve got to be smarter with the ball. Once we clean that up, we’re going to be in good shape.”

In a 77-67 loss at Evanston on Jan. 9, Czinano scored 28 points on 13-of-14 shooting. Thursday, she made her first 15 attempts, finished 17 of 19 and tallied 34 points.

“We knew coming into the game that we had a size advantage,” said the 6-foot-3 Czinano. “Credit to (my teammates) for being able to find me.”

But it wasn’t enough. The Wildcats marched to a fourth-quarter free-throw parade, going to the line 26 times. They only made 13 of them, which kept the door ajar for the Hawkeyes (9-4, 5-4) for awhile, but they made 6 of their final 10 to finally put it away.

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“It’s hard to win games when the other team shoots 34 free throws and you only shoot eight,” Bluder said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Iowa shot 57 percent in the first half, but that was neutralized by 14 turnovers, and the result was a 33-29 Northwestern lead at intermission.

Caitlin Clark drew two quick fouls and played only eight first-half minutes and scored just two points. She came alive immediately in the second half, starting it off with a four-point play. That ignited a 13-0 run that put the Hawkeyes in front, 42-35, and they held a nine-point lead on three occasions, the last at 52-43.

But Northwestern answered and led, 57-56, by the end of the third quarter.

Czinano scored Iowa’s first eight points of the fourth quarter as the Hawkeyes opened a 64-59 advantage. She finally missed her first shot from the floor with about seven minutes to go.

Clark finished with 23 points and eight assists. Czinano grabbed 11 rebounds to go to with her 34 points. Kate Martin was the only other Hawkeye to reach double figures, scoring 10 points. McKenna Warnock managed just one point, but provided 14 rebounds and seven assists. She turned it over six times, though, as did Czinano.

Northwestern had four players in double figures, led by Lindsey Pulliam’s 27 points.

“She put that team on her shoulders,” Bluder said. “We were denying her. We can’t let her touch the ball.”

The Hawkeyes face Minnesota at 4 p.m. Sunday at Williams Arena, Minneapolis.

NORTHWESTERN 87, IOWA 80

At Iowa City

NORTHWESTERN (87): Paige Mott 1-1 2-3 4, Sydney Wood 6-10 2-8 14, Lindsey Pulliam 6-12 12-16 27, Veronica Burton 8-15 1-5 20, Jordan Hamilton 5-13 0-2 10, Lauryn Satterwhite 0-1 0-0 0, Anna Morris 4-7 0-0 8, Jasmine McWilliams 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 32-63 17-34 87.

IOWA (80): McKenna Warnock 0-3 1-2 1, Monika Czinano 17-19 0-2 34, Kate Martin 4-9 0-0 10, Caitlin Clark 8-16 3-4 23, Gabbie Marshall 1-6 0-0 3, Megan Meyer 1-2 0-0 2, Tomi Taiwo 1-1 0-0 3, Sharon Goodman 1-1 0-0 2, Alexis Sevillian 0-0 0-0 0, Logan Cook 1-1 0-0 2, Lauren Jensen 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-59 4-8 80.

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Halftime: Northwestern 33, Iowa 29. 3-point goals: Northwestern 6-14 (Pulliam 3-3, Burton 3-7, Hamilton 0-3, Morris 0-1), Iowa 8-25 (Warnock 0-2, Martin 2-6, Clark 4-12, Marshall 1-2, Meyer 0-1, Taiwo 1-1, Jensen 0-1). Team fouls: Northwestern 15, Iowa 25. Fouled out: Martin, Marshall. Rebounds: Northwestern 28 (Burton 5), Iowa 39 (Warnock 14). Assists: Northwestern 16 (Wood 5), Iowa 27 (Clark 8). Steals: Northwestern 11 (Wood 5), Iowa 8 (Marshall 5). Turnovers: Northwestern 9, Iowa 23.

Attendance: 264.

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

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