Despite Knocked Out Tooth & Postgame Injury, Iowa Beats ISU [PICS]
(Above) Caitlin Clark, Kate Martin, & Gabbie Marshall celebrate a 4th quarter turnover by Iowa State, with the Cyclones' Ashley Joens looking on.
Wednesday night's intrastate rivalry between #16 Iowa and #10 Iowa State didn't disappoint. An ugly first half filled with the tension of the importance of the game, especially for Iowa, resembled a heavyweight bout with few "punches" landed. In the 3rd quarter, the Hawkeyes' offense began to soar as their defense suffocated the Cyclones.
I was inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, part of a very loud crowd of 13,802, for the Big Ten-Big 12 battle between the teams that both feature a preseason 1st Team All-American... Iowa's (#22) Caitlin Clark and (#24) Iowa State's Ashley Joens.
A familiar scene in the second half, Clark asks the Iowa crowd to make more noise after a made basket by the Hawkeyes.
Iowa's Kate Martin (#20) puts on the pressure against ISU preseason 1st Team All-American, Ashley Joens (#24).
Shots weren't falling for either All-American, or their teams, in the first half Wednesday night. At halftime, Iowa State held a 28-23 lead and Joens and Clark were a combined 4 for 22 from the field. Both teams shot under 34 percent in the first half.
During her postgame press conference, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said she'd challenged her team to play better defense after recent losses to #12 North Carolina State and #3 Connecticut. They definitely answered the call.
Iowa's defense made it very difficult for the Iowa State offense throughout the game. In the photo below, Hannah Stuelke (#45), Monika Czinano (#25), and Cailtin Clark surround 6'6" Iowa State center Stephanie Soares.
After trailing by five at intermission, Iowa took over the game in the 3rd quarter, outscoring the Cyclones 27-8. Clark made 3 of 4 from 3-point range in the quarter. Kate Martin and McKenna Warnock also hit 3's as Iowa was 10-17 in the quarter while forcing three Iowa State turnovers.
Holding a 14-point lead after 3, Iowa just needed to maintain the lead for the win. They did just that, helped along by a Gabbie Marshall (#24) three in the 4th, when Iowa went 2 of 3 from long range.
In the closing minutes of the game, Marshall lost a tooth during a triple team of Iowa State's Ashley Joens. Bluder said in the postgame press conference, "She lost a tooth out there. Good thing we've got a great dental school here. I think she caught an elbow."
Iowa's other injury actually came after the game ended. After scoring 13 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, and dishing 2 assists, while making no turnover in the game, Kate Martin (#20) fell to the floor as the team's left for the locker room. She received some assistance as she approached the Iowa tunnel.
After Iowa's 70-57 win, coach Bluder confirmed that Martin had turned an ankle. She told the media, "She plays for 36 minutes and 13 seconds without an injury, and then walking off the court she twisted her ankle. I think she was walking. Hopefully, she'll be okay with that."
Iowa was led in scoring by Caitlin Clark with 19. Monika Czinano added 18, and Kate Martin 13. Iowa State had four players in double figures. Ashley Joens and Emily Ryan each had 15, while Lexi Donarski and Stephanie Soares both scored 10.
If you don't think there's something special about Iowa-Iowa State, just look at the Iowa celebration on the floor, and in the Iowa locker room, after the win.
Tonight, it's the men's turn. #20 Iowa State visits unranked Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a 7:01 p.m. tipoff on FS1.
The Iowa women's basketball team's next game is Saturday night at home, versus Minnesota. Tipoff is 8 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.