July 21, 2024

PAINFUL DEPARTURE: Iowa Hawkeyes head coach is gone…….

In their Big Ten Tournament opening round match, the Iowa Hawkeyes performed admirably. With a strong first quarter performance, Iowa defeated the Penn State Nittany Lions to move on to the conference championship semifinals. In the second half, Iowa got things going and won 95–62.

Despite senior guard Caitlin Clark’s poor shooting performance, the Hawkeyes demonstrated to the rest of the league that their supporting players are more than capable of making such shots and converting three-pointers. In the second half, the Hawkeyes dominated the game with 15 3-pointers.

In spite of this, Clark finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. However, she was just 5-of-19 from the field and 2-of-14 from three.

Sydney Affolter, a junior guard, scored an impressive 18 points, while Kate Martin, a graduate guard, contributed 11 points and nine rebounds. Taylor McCabe, a sophomore guard, scored 12 points with four three-pointers, and Gabbie Marshall, a fifth-year guard, scored 15 points, demonstrating her sustained strong shooting from outside the area.

The Hawkeyes now have a chance to win the tournament because of the stunning upset that Maryland pulled off earlier today in their 82-61 victory over Ohio State. Iowa not only has an advantage in the Big Ten Tournament, but they also have a clear route back to the top seed in the NCAA Tournament.

These are the lessons learned from Iowa’s Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal victory over the Nittany Lions in their first game.

Iowa caught fire.

Picture courtesy of Getty Images/Adam Bettcher

Iowa jumped out to an early lead in this one. After taking an early 10-0 lead, the Hawkeyes extended it throughout the first quarter. Iowa led 31–13 at the completion of the first quarter.

The fact that Caitlin Clark only scored four points in the first quarter is what makes this recipe the most intriguing. Seven Hawkeyes players scored in the first quarter of this game, including Sydney Affolter with eight and Hannah Stuelke with six.

This demonstrated the Hawkeyes’ ability to play defense as well. Penn State ranked as the seventh-best scoring team in the country coming into this matchup. For the first ten minutes, Iowa shut them out.

When Caitlin Clark shoots merely mediocre, Iowa can win.

Picture courtesy of Getty Images/Adam Bettcher

By no means did Caitlin Clark play poorly, but she was not at her best. For most of the night, she had trouble getting the shots to fall. She did involve her teammates since she continued to locate them for assists and offered assistance on the boards.

For Clark, this is an anomaly rather than a pattern. This particular game is an anomaly and will not be repeated. This does, however, demonstrate to the squad that it is still capable of winning big games and making big shots even when Clark doesn’t shoot her best.

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