B1G Game 11: Gophers Host Iowa (1-31-21)

Ignatius L Hoops

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North by Northwestern: Pursuing Caitlin Clark
Before Minnesota’s first meeting with the Hawkeyes, freshman Caitlin Clark’s buzz was already national. Against the Gophers in Iowa City, Clark’s rising star burned bright: 37 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists in 32 minutes. Minnesota put up a fight taking a 48-38 lead to the half time locker room. But the Hawkeyes cranked up the offense in the third quarter outscoring the Gophers 30-13 while coasting to a 92-79 win.

Then the Hawkeyes and their prize point guard encountered a little Big Ten turbulence.

Joe Mckeown and Northwestern’s defense welcomed Iowa to Evanston by terminating Clark’s 20+ point/game scoring streak in a 77-67 ‘Cat win. The Wildcats controlled the pace, focused on defending Clark and chased the Hawkeyes off the three-point line. As a result: Northwestern scored 28 points off 18 Iowa turnovers, held Clark to 8 points in 33 minutes and held the Hawkeyes to 5-19 from behind the arc. Clark, visibly frustrated as the game progressed, was 3-12 from the field (1-5 from 3) before fouling out. About Clark, McKeown said:

“We did a really good job of trying to keep her in front of us. (We) tried to frustrate her a little bit. When she’d beat one player, we had somebody else there to switch out. We just kept running people at her.”

Lisa Bluder summed up the game:

“[Northwestern] would score a basket, and we’d foul them, and they’d get the three-point play, and, to me, that’s the best play in basketball. And when it goes against you … it just takes the wind out of your sails a little bit.”

As for Clark:

“[Clark’s] shot certainly wasn’t falling tonight, and we needed her to get us into our offense a little bit better,” Bluder said. “I think all the pressure was really what got to her a little bit.”

Bluder saw a simple solution predicated on Monika Czinano scoring 28 points on 13-14 shooting;

“I have so much confidence in [Czinano] shooting the ball, and I’m just disappointed that she didn’t take 20 shots tonight. I think she should’ve, I mean, they couldn’t stop her. So, if somebody can’t stop you, you have to keep going back to the same well. We just didn’t do that. We were looking at so many other options tonight, besides just going at the old ‘Why not keep doing it? Why not keep doing the same, boring thing that’s been working over and over again?’”

Ohio State: Clark’s Dagger Misses the Mark

Before Ohio State’s visit to Iowa City, Bluder promised an increased emphasis on defense. Then, in one of the B1G’s most exciting games, the Buckeyes not only emerged victorious, in overtime, 84-82; they ended Iowa’s 42 game home winning streak. The Hawk’s defense may have improved a little; but their offense cooked to a 27-17 first quarter lead and a 44-32 half time advantage. The Buckeyes charged back, pushing the game into overtime tied at 72.

With :19 seconds remaining In OT and OSU leading 84-82, it was Iowa ball coming out of a time out. Of course, the ball was in Clark’s hands. Having missed a go-ahead layup with 20 seconds remaining in regulation, Clark got a chance to redeem herself with a game winning three. It didn’t fall. The winning streak did.

Despite the late misses, Clark shrugged off the Northwestern game and returned to form with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists in 40 minutes. Czinano struggled before fouling out with 9 and 4 rebounds in 30 minutes. McKenna Warnock contributed a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.


Purdue: Clark Watches Iowa’s Game Winning Rally From the Bench

Iowa began a new home winning streak defeating Purdue 87-81. Caitlin Clark’s numbers were normal (for her) enough: 26 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. But it was the minutes played that stood out-30. With five minutes left in the game, what had been a close contest tilted in favor of Purdue 75-69. Then Caitlin Clark was subbed out for Gabbie Marshall. With Clark on the bench, the Hawk’s led by Tomai Taiwo’s defense, rallied to an 84-77 lead with 1:12 remaining. Clark returned at the :50 mark, made a steal and two subsequent free throws and then was subbed out for defense (Taiwo). Bluder wasn’t messing with a good thing.

Warnock put up 19 points and 8 rebounds and Czinano 12 points and 9 rebounds. Tomai Taiwo played 15 minutes with 5 points. It’s also worth noting that Iowa dominated from the free throw line; 25-31 compared to 5-9.

‘Cats and Clark: Round Two:

Northwestern carried its frustration defense to Iowa City. As a result, Caitlin Clark spent most of the first half on the bench with two fouls. Northwestern led 33-29 at the half. Unlike the game in Evanston, Clark hit the court running in the second half quickly racking up 6 points and an assist. Iowa used a 13-0 third quarter run to take a 9 point lead. But there was a poison pill in Iowa’s game. Turnovers. The Hawkeyes turned the ball over 23 times compared to 9 for Northwestern. More important, the Wildcats again turned the turnovers into 28 points on the way to an 87-80 win.

Clark’s final numbers were 23 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 turnovers. Respectable; but it was a night when Lisa Bluder tried the just-let-Monika-shoot approach mentioned above. It could’ve worked. Czinano hit her first 15 shots and finished the night 17-19 for 34 points and 11 rebounds. Czinano still needed at least 4 more shots to turn a loss into a victory. So, force turnovers, frustrate Clark and keep Czinano from taking more than twenty shots is a formula for a Gopher win.

Iowa Big Ten Record (5-4):

Wins:
Wisconsin 85-79, Rutgers 90-84, @ Illinois 107-68, Minnesota 92-79, Purdue 87-81

Losses: Michigan State 82-86, @ Northwestern 67-77, Ohio State 82-84, Northwestern 80-87

Postponed: @ Ohio State, @ Maryland, @ Rutgers

Caitlin Clark Last Six Games

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Illinois2144270
Minnesota37115321
Northwestern828335
Ohio State27105401
Purdue2694292
Northwestern2328274


Monika Czinano Last Six Games:

TeamPtsRebAsstMinFoul
Illinois1544274
Minnesota1992301
Northwestern28122354
Ohio State940305
Purdue1295313
Northwestern34111362

Probable Starters:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
6’0”GFrCaitlin Clark32.125.36.2
6’3”F/CJrMonika Czinano31.419.67.4
6’1”G/FSoMcKenna Warnock32.311.59.6
5’9”GSoGabbie Marshall29.18.42.0
6’0”GRSrKate Martin31.07.93.6


Others:

HGTPOSYRPLAYERMINAVGREB
6’3”CFrSharon Goodman7.23.12.0
5’10”GFrLauren Jensen7.32.00.6
5’10”GJrTomi Taiwo9.63.01.2
5’8”GSoMegan Meyer11.64.51.1

 
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Ignatius L Hoops

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FACING IOWA
• Renewing its most-played rivalry, Minnesota hosts Iowa Sunday in the 82nd meeting between the schools. The Gophers trail in the all-time series 54-27.

• Iowa has won four straight in the series, including the matchup earlier this season in Iowa City. That's tied for Minnesota's second longest active losing streak against one team; only Ohio State (8) has a longer current run.

• Like with the overall series, Minnesota has faced Iowa at home more than any other team and trails, 17-20, in Minneapolis. The Hawkeyes have won two in a row at Williams Arena with Minnesota's last win in the series coming there on Jan. 21, 2018.

• Minnesota has two Iowans on its roster in redshirt freshmen Grace Cumming (Roosevelt HS) and Justice Ross (East HS), both of whom hail from Des Moines. Conversely, Iowa has two Minnesotans on its roster: sophomore Monika Czinano from Watertown and Watertown-Mayer High School and freshman Lauren Jensen from Lakeville and Lakeville North HS
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Hawkeye Sports Notes:
B1G RECORD-BREAKING HAWK

  • Junior Monika Czinano posted a double-double, scoring 28 points and pulling down 12 rebounds at No. 22/23 Northwestern (Jan. 9). Czinano shot 13 of 14 from the field. Czinano’s field goal percentage (.929) is a Big Ten Record with a minimum of 12 attempts in a Big Ten contest, shooting 13-of-14 against the Wildcats. On three occasions, a Big Ten women’s basketball player has made 12 of 13 (.917) — the last being Indiana’s Quacy Barnes on Feb. 22, 1998 against Michigan State.
  • Against No. 23 Northwestern (Jan. 28), Czinano made 15-consecutive buckets — a Big Ten single-game record. With Czinano making her final three shots in Iowa’s previous game against Purdue (Jan. 18), her streak ran 18-consecutive makes — another Big Ten record. The previous co-record holder, Iowa’s Megan Gustafson and Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes, each made 17 in a row. Gustafson made 17 in a row over a three-game stretch from Nov. 9-17, 2018 (1 vs. Oral Roberts, 13 at WKU, 3 vs. NC Central) — the only other time it’s happened within the same season. Holmes made 17 in a row in consecutive games, crossing over seasons making her last four shots in the Big Ten semifinals (Mar. 7) against Maryland and added 13 against Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 25).
YOU SERIOUS, CLARK?

  • In the nation, Clark ranks second in triple-doubles (1), fifth in points per game (25.5) and total points (332), sixth in total assists 82), 10th in assists per game (6.3), 11th in field goals made (110), 12th in 3-pointers attempted (113), 15th in 3-pointers made (40) and 3-pointers per game (3.08), 17th in free throws made (72), 18th in field goal attempts (241), and 23rd in free throw attempts (89).
  • In the conference, Clark leads the Big Ten in five statistical categories, including total points (332), total assists (82), assists per game (6.3), field goals attempted (241), and 3-pointers attempted (113).
  • Clark is ranked second in six additional statistical categories, including triple doubles (1), points per game (25.5), field goals made (110), free throws made (72), 3-pointers per game (3.08), and 3-pointers made (40). She also ranks third in free-throw attempts (89).
  • Clark broke onto the Iowa freshman all-time assist list after tallying eight assists against Northwestern (Jan. 28). Clark tied the eighth most assists from a freshman (82) with Kristi Smith (2005-06)
  • Freshman Caitlin Clark is one of six women’s basketball players to record a triple-double this season, posting 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists against Western Illinois (Dec. 22, 2020). Indiana’s Grace Berger is the only women’s basketball player to record two this season. Clark is the first Hawkeye to reach the accomplishment since Sam Logic against Baylor (March 27, 2015) and marks the 10th triple-double in program history, which tied the second-most in the NCAA.
  • Clark was the first Big Ten freshman to be named the ESPN National Player of the Week on Dec. 14.
  • The NCAA named Clark to the NCAA Starting five — a list of the top five women’s basketball players for the week — on Dec. 9 and Dec. 30.
  • Clark has recorded four double-doubles, including a triple-double this season and recorded four 30-point games, including a collegiate-best 37 points in Iowa’s win over Minnesota (Jan. 6).
  • Clark is the only freshman since 2015-16 to put up 30 points and have at least 10 assists in a single game. At Drake, Clark tallied 30 points and 13 assists.
  • Clark’s 13 assists against Drake (Dec. 2) are the most from a Big Ten Freshman since Maryland’s Destiny Slocum had 13 against Illinois on February 9, 2017.
 

bball_craz_26

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Per Whalen Today:

-Diva is listed as Day to Day on Injury but is "unlikely tomorrow"

-They are expecting Iowa to play a Triangle and 2 defense on Scalia and Powell and "dare" the others to beat them if Hubbard is out

-We could see a lot of Mershon and Sconiers together to play with a big body in front and behind Monica Czinano
 

GringaGopher

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Would like to see our D try and run IO off the 3 like NW did and it limited Clark. Sounds like we will need our bigs and Smith n others to score.
 

Katogopher

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Seriously missing bunnies and free throws, recipe for disaster. Yes Sissoko cannot move with the ball.
 

Waffle

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Wish we had someone that could get Czinano in foul trouble
 

thatjanelpick

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Stathes and Sjoquist would you like you to know they're not voting for Clark for freshman of the year.
 

Katogopher

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Gophers seem to foul the opponent at the end of quarters and halves. Nice shot by Scalia to end the half. Good sign that they didn’t give up.
 

whalenfan

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Clark is a great player but the fouls the refs give her are frustrating, shes always lowering her shoulder and flopping around, its gonna be a long 4 years going against her
 

Katogopher

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Clark is a great player but the fouls the refs give her are frustrating, shes always lowering her shoulder and flopping around, its gonna be a long 4 years going against her
Agree, she seems to get the benefit of the calls her way, long 4 years indeed.
 

Katogopher

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Dreaded third quarter, maybe just bring out a different starting five to start the half. Do not like Sissoko out on the wing.
 

MNGirlsHoops

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We really miss Hubbard this game, we dont have enough shooting.
Your right we miss her, we just can't score in the paint nor defend the paint.
I would like to see a stat on how many dribbles kadi takes with her left hand compared to right
 

whalenfan

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Your right we miss her, we just can't score in the paint nor defend the paint.
I would like to see a stat on how many dribbles kadi takes with her left hand compared to right
Its not many and if she does go left she always comes back to the right. Something shes really gotta work on this summer.
 

Katogopher

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Why has Strande languish so deep on the bench? Only good to come out of this game we got to see some players we haven’t seen for awhile
 

GringaGopher

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47-41 @ the 1/2 and then the dreaded 3rd quarter disaster. IO. is a good team but we made it easy for them with TO's n poor shooting. Like the energy of Strande n others in the 4th. I keep waiting for Smith to flash and today would have been a good time for her to step up. The schedule does not get easier....
 

samloupete

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Strande has to play more. I’m not a big fan of Smith. She gets too much playing time, certainly more than is warranted. She looks lost out there a lot of the time. Strande would make an ideal backup for Scalia.
 

whalenfan

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Why has Strande languish so deep on the bench? Only good to come out of this game we got to see some players we haven’t seen for awhile
Coach mentioned in the pregame how the youngsters that hadnt played much were putting in really good practices lately so maybe we'll see them get some playing time going forward.
 

fanfromthevalley

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We do get a break with the Michigan game being postponed. Next game is not until Sunday at Ohio State. Time for some folks to heal up more (Hubbard) and time to practice to rid the taste of the Iowa loss.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Another fun day at Williams for the Hawkeyes:

Caitlin Clark:

“When you’re knocking down 3s, getting steals, and getting easy layups – it’s fun basketball,” Clark said. “Everyone was smiling and having fun. The coaches were having fun. It’s what we want to do every single night.”

Lisa Bluder:

“I loved the energy we played with today. Our focus was really good. It feels good to play a clean game.”

“That third quarter was domination. … It’s like a snowball – it just keeps rolling. Your great defense fires you up for offense. You make a basket, then you’re fired up for defense. It’s a momentum thing. When it’s going like that, you don’t want the quarter to end.”
 

MNGirlsHoops

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Not having an experienced player like Hubbard hurt us probably more so then any other game just because Iowa likes to play box n 1 or triangle and 2. They basically said we are going to face guard Scalia and other times both Scalia and Powell all night and make the Freshman Smith have to make decisions and score all night. Essentially 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 most of the night. I'm not sure we countered real well, and it cost us in the 2nd half. Smith is a decent defender, but running a offense is not her strength especially pick and roll offense because defenses don't have to worry about her shooting they can go under the picks.
Bottom line another game short-handed against a good, well coached team that also had an elite center, we just don't have enough experienced, talented players at this stage of their playing career. Watch film, make adjustments and move on to the next game.
 
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