On Sunday, the Iowa women’s basketball team took care of business at Drake, winning 82-65. That win capped a sweep for the Iowa women’s team over the other Division I women’s teams in the state, the others, of course, being Iowa State and Northern Iowa. The last time the Iowa women were mythical “state champions” was the 2010-2011 season.
The last time the men bested the three other Division I schools was the ’04-’05 season. That Iowa men’s team started the year in impressive fashion that season, going 12-1 in out-of-conference play–including a win over Louisville. Their only loss came at North Carolina, 106-92. The team faded down the stretch, though, going 7-9 in league play before coming alive in the Big Ten Tournament in typical Steve Alford fashion to bolster its record enough to get into the NCAA Tournament. That year, the women, too, swept Drake, Iowa State, and Northern Iowa–making it the last time the University of Iowa’s men’s and women’s basketball teams were the combined “state champions.” Until this season.
With the Iowa women’s team’s win at Drake Sunday, Iowa is a combined 5-0 against the state’s other Division I teams. The Iowa men’s team did not play Drake this year because of the new layout of the Big 4 Classic in Des Moines, with Iowa and Iowa State playing Drake and UNI every other year. Let’s recap the wins in this rare occurrence, in chronological order.
Dec. 1, 2012–Iowa 68, Northern Iowa 46
Hawkeye senior center Morgan Johnson had an unsurprisingly spectacular game, scoring 19 points and snatching 12 rebounds. Samantha Logic added 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Only one Panther scored in double figures — Brooke Brown with 12 points.
Dec. 6, 2012–Iowa 50, #22 Iowa State 42
It was a low-scoring, tight contest down the stretch. Tied at 39 with over three minutes to play, Melissa Dixon hit a 3-pointer to give the Hawks the lead. She would later add a big layup with less than a minute and a half to go to give Iowa a 47-42, two-posession lead. It was Iowa’s fifth win at Carver in six tries against Iowa State. Dixon, Theairra Taylor, and Jaime Printy all scored in double digits. Cyclone Nikki Moody led Iowa State with 12 points.
Dec. 7, 2012–Iowa 80, Iowa State 71
It was the Iowa men’s team’s first win over Iowa State since Todd Lickliter’s second season in 2008-09. Aaron White led all scorers with 18 points (and some fantastic dunks). Frosh diamond-in-the-rough Anthony Clemmons set a career (albeit, short career) best with 14 points to go along with 8 assists. The Cyclones battled back from a first-half deficit to take a small lead into halftime, but Iowa took control of the game in the second half, putting up 45 points en route to the win. Freshman Mike Gesell added 11 points for Iowa. Leading Iowa State scorer Will Clyburn had 0 points.
Dec. 15, 2012–Iowa 80, Northern Iowa 73
With contributors Anthony Clemmons and Adam Woodbury in foul trouble early in the game, junior guard Devyn Marble took it upon himself to shoot, and shoot some more. Marble was one point shy of tying a career high with 30 points against the Panthers. He set a Wells Fargo Arena record for a Division I college basketball player as Iowa took part in the Big 4 Classic in Des Moines. Marble drained 4-of-9 threes. The Hawkeyes bombed 9 three-pointers in the first half, 12 for the game–by far the team’s best three-point shooting performance of the season against a team with a pulse. Freshman Mike Gesell scored 23 points, a (young) career best. Deon Mitchell led UNI with 23 points. Northern Iowa’s bench only chipped in 5 points.
Dec. 16, 2012–Iowa 82, Drake 65
It was a tad close in the first half–Iowa took a 39-34 lead into halftime–but the Hawks would use the second half to erase the Bulldogs’ game plan. Morgan Johnson should be in mix for Big Ten Player of the Year if she continues her dominant senior year. The 6’5” Missouri native had 26 points and 8 boards for the Hawks. Sam Logic added 13 points and 7 assists. Trish Nesbitt led the Iowa bench with 12 points. Kyndal Clark led Drake with 19 points. Drake’s record fell to 3-6 after the loss.