COLUMBUS, Ohio – The University of Iowa women’s basketball team (10-5, 6-5) battled hard in the second half but was unable to overcome what was once a 16-point lead for No. 11 Ohio State (10-2, 6-2). Despite outscoring the Buckeyes 57 to 51 in the second half the Hawkeyes were never able to narrow the lead to more than five, and ultimately fell by six.
Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures led by freshman Caitlin Clark with 30 points her fifth 30-point game this season, junior Monica Czinano had 14 points, junior Tomi Taiwo scored a career high 13 points, and sophomore McKenna Warnock added 12 points.
“I told our team that we beat Ohio State in the second half,” said head coach Lisa Bluder. “We won the third quarter, we won the fourth quarter, in the first quarter there was a two-point deficit, it was just the second quarter.”
Iowa opened the game taking an 11-4 lead but an 11-point first quarter from Jacy Sheldon gave the Buckeyes the lead after the first quarter, which they would never relinquish. Sheldon had a career high 29 points for Ohio State.
“The second quarter was what killed us,” said Clark. “I think our second half performance was good. Clean up a few things here and there and we win the ball game.”
That second quarter saw the Hawkeyes turn the ball over five times and take an 11-point deficit into the second half. Iowa shot 12.5 percent from beyond the ark in the first half, and 27 percent for the game.
“They play really good player-to-player defense,” said Bluder. “They have great help side, and they don’t help off people when you are trying to dribble drive. They are smart basketball players, and obviously very well coached.”
The Hawkeyes fought hard to narrow the Ohio State lead with Clark scoring 21 of her 30 points and dishing out five of her nine assists in the second half. However, Ohio State was able to convert at the free throw line 11 times in 18 trips in the fourth quarter to hold on to the lead.
Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures, including Clark (30), Czinano (14), Taiwo (13), and Warnock (12).
Taiwo’s 13 points are a career high.
Clark recorded her fifth 30-point game this season and was one assist shy of a double-double.
Sophomore Gabbie Marshall recorded a game-high three steals.
The Hawkeyes held the Buckeyes to seven steals – the fewest in a game this season for Ohio State.
Iowa hosts Indiana on Sunday, Feb. 7 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. (CT)