The 4th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes keep things on track with their fifth straight win as they put on a stellar performance, defeating Bowling Green 99-65 in front of an eager crowd. The midday contest was filled with Hawk fans and even some celebrity guests, including one of the best women’s basketball players of all time, Sue Bird, along Jason Sudeikis, most famously known for his role as Ted Lasso.
The crowd got to work early, showing their love for head coach Lisa Bluder as she was honored before the game for her accomplishment in reaching 500 career wins. Even with all the excitement, it seemed the team were going to start out slow, with two turnovers to start the game and a few missed shots. However, who else would it be other than Caitlin Clark to hit a smooth three-pointer in transition to get things started.
After that, it looked as if there had been no previous hiccups, as the team hit a total groove and started to dominate each phase of the game. They took advantage of a Bowling Green team who struggled offensively, and was just completely outmatched.
The Hawks moved the ball at an incredible pace. They owned the perimeter and created open spaces for each other through their speed and ability to recognize the flaws in Bowling Green’s defense. This led to 29 assists as a team on the night for Iowa, as Bowling Green only had 9. On top of the major score margin, Iowa took over in almost every other category as well. A major difference was that they finished the game with a 66.7 field-goal percentage compared to Bowling Green’s 34.3%. Another reason for their total command of the game was their full ownership of the boards on both sides of the floor. Iowa out rebounded the Falcons 44-27, an impressive difference.
However, there were some issues. Iowa did get through the Bowling Green defense exceptionally well, but they also committed 14 turnovers, one more than their opponent did today. Credit also needs to be given to the lead member of the Falcons cast today. Lexi Flemming led Bowling Green with 24 points and was the major reason they were not down even more so early on. Iowa’s defense has been slightly questionable up to this point, but outside of Flemming’s bigger performance for Bowling Green, they really kept everyone else pretty contained, as only one additional Falcon reached double figures.
Even so, Caitlin Clark continued her show in front of a packed house with 24 points and 11 assists. Praise should also be shared to Addison O’Grady and Sharon Goodman. They were faced with a few extra challenges today without the help of Hannah Stuelke after she was ruled out, yet they still combined for 22 points.
Kate Martin was the Hawks second highest scorer with 17 today, and really clicked with Molly Davis. Davis was unstoppable with the ball, and made some incredible passes. Her court vision was impressive and fed Martin a few times, passing and cutting through needle-sized gaps. Martin flew around the court on both offense and defense, and always seemed to find herself in the right spot to help the team. She was down the court quick for easy layups and snuck in for backside blocks.
It was great to see the team click so well today because their next matchup will be much tougher. They will get their shot at the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series against Iowa State in Ames. That game will be on ESPN2 on Wednesday, December 6th at 6:00 p.m. CT.