ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN — A top-five preseason ranking made the Iowa Hawkeyes the biggest of targets in the Big Ten going into the new season, and after a few teams managed to hit the bullseye before conference play, chatter resurfaced about if the offensive-minded Hawkeyes are indeed national championship ready. After a tough defeat to start the new year, and with the prospect of staring a two-loss conference losing streak when visiting one of the league’s tougher road stops, Iowa showed off its pedigree in a dazzling 36-minute display to come away with an impressive win.
All-America guard Caitlin Clark scored 28 points and added eight assists to head the 16th-ranked Hawkeyes to a 94-85 victory over No. 14 Michigan inside the Crisler Center on Saturday afternoon. Forward Monika Czinano added 19 points and a career-high eight assists as the Hawkeyes scored at least 90 points for the fifth time this season.
The Wolverines controlled the game on both ends for most of the first half, and were up 31-21 almost midway through the second quarter after a Greta Kampschroeder three-pointer. Iowa proceeded to score the game’s next 10 points, with Czinano scoring six of the points during the game-changing run. Iowa took a 41-39 lead into the half after two threes in the final 90 seconds, one from McKenna Warnock and a deep three from Clark with nine seconds remaining.
The Hawkeyes increased their scoring output in each quarter, and their combined 53 points in the second half included a third quarter where their defense started to create separation. Michigan, who shot 50 percent from the field in the first half (16-for-32) made just nine of its 22 field-goal attempts in the third quarter.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by Detroit-area photographer Aaron J. Thornton. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 14 pictures in total.