The No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes put on a clinic on Sunday evening, routing their neighboring rival Drake 113-90 and redeeming themselves after Thursday’s defeat to Kansas State. In doing so, the Hawkeyes quieted any skepticism about whether or not they are ready to live up to the hype.
On multiple fronts, Sunday’s effort was a stark contrast to Thursday’s lethargic performance.
A renewed sense of energy was evident. That burst catapulted their offense to 64 first-half points—the most in program history. Iowa also went from shooting a meager 36 percent against Kansas State to shooting 64.3 percent against Drake. But an even more remarkable turnaround was from the 3-point line, where they went from shooting only 9.5 percent against the Wildcats to shooting 54.2 percent against the Bulldogs—a whopping 44.2 percent increase. Perhaps that biggest difference was that you had multiple players contributing in big ways, meaning Caitlin Clark was not by herself.
Speaking of Clark, she played so much better than she did on Thursday, capturing another double-double with 35 points and 10 assists. She also grabbed six rebounds and hit five 3-pointers. It was the 39th 30-point game of her career, surpassing former Washington Husky Kelsey Plum for the most 30-point games by a player in Division I over the past 25 seasons. Clark also succeeded on the defense end—a dimension of her game that often is overlooked—as she came away with seven steals.
But as stated before, Clark was not alone as three other Hawkeyes scored in double figures.
Kate Martin was dynamic as she finished with a career-high 25 points, going 3-for-4 from the 3-point line. She also added four rebounds and three assists. Sharon Goodman was dominant in the paint as she scored 15 points and grabbed three rebounds. Molly Davis executed as a playmaker with 10 points and three assists, as well as going a perfect 2-for-2 from the beyond the arc.
Other notable performances included Kylie Feuerbach finishing with seven points, Taylor McCabe coming away with six points on a pair of 3-pointers and the ubiquitous Sydney Affolter contributing five points, four rebounds and four assists. Addison O’Grady followed suit with four points, three rebounds and three assists. Hannah Stuelke finished with four points, an assist and a rebound, but her play was limited due to a suspected knee injury.
To anyone wanting to quickly count Iowa out after Thursday’s loss, Clark was more than happy to remind everyone that invincibility is nonexistent, saying after the game:
I don’t think we really worry too much about outside noise. That’s not what our program is built on. If you watch basketball, the best players in the world have bad games. Those teams have bad games, the Golden State Warriors have bad games. You don’t judge a team by one game, good or bad. If anything, it is a great learning lesson for our group. I don’t enjoy losing, I wish we didn’t lose, but I think it teaches this group a lot of things on how to get better.
No. 5 Iowa (4-1) will travel to Florida to play in the 2023 Gulf Coast Showcase, meeting Purdue-Fort Wayne (2-1) on Friday, Nov. 24 at 6:30pm CST.