akoiki-passport2 – by Adesina O. Koiki
A Lot of Sports Talk editor-in-chief

MINNEAPOLIS — Despite the inordinate amount of basketball wizardry that Iowa superstar guard Caitlin Clark can produce at the drop of the hat, and despite the double-doubles that running mate Monika Czinano puts up on a regular basis, the Hawkeyes’ hopes in making the Final Four hinge on the consistent production from their supporting cast.

After Saturday afternoon’s display against another Top 5 team in the country, the Hawkeyes look to be as Final Four ready as they’ve been all season.

All five Hawkeye starters scored in double figures, led by Clark’s 22, as second-seed Iowa, the No. 7 team in the AP Poll, defeated third-seeded and AP No. 5 Maryland 89-84 in an entertaining semifinal matchup. Iowa will take on fourth-seeded Ohio State, who surprised top-seeded Indiana in the other semifinal game earlier on Saturday.

Sounding much like Carver-Hawkeye Arena North, the Target Center saw every starter on Iowa play an integral role in carrying the Hawkeyes in this grudge match between teams that split the season series in the regular season. Guard Gabbie Marshall, mired in a shooting slump for most of the season, nailed seven threes on her way to 21 points. McKenna Warnock also scored 21 points, Czinano had 15 points and eight rebounds while Kate Martin flirted with a triple-double with 10 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Marshall, in particular, has found her shooting stroke, shooting a scorching 58 percent from three in the last nine games.

The Terrapins, who blitzed Iowa 96-68 in College Park in the penultimate game of the regular season, saw Diamond Miller and Abby Meyers each score 21 points.

*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Friday’s games, with the 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 40 pictures in total.

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Tags : Big Ten ConferenceBig Ten TournamentIndiana HoosiersIowa HawkeyesMaryland TerrapinsOhio State Buckeyeswomen's college basketball

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