Czinano, Clark help No. 4 Iowa defeat Drake 92-86 in OT
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Monika Czinano scored 36 points and Caitlin Clark added 28 to help No. 4 Iowa beat Drake 92-86 in overtime on Sunday.
Czinano and Clark scored all but two of the Hawkeyes’ points in the extra period as Iowa outscored the Bulldogs 10-4.
The Hawkeyes have won 10 of the last 11 games in this in-state rivalry, but this one was a challenge.
“I think we found ways to win,” Clark said. “I don’t think we played our best — I think I can say that. But that’s what we’ve been talking about all year — finding ways to win when our offense isn’t going the way you want it to.”
“I think this will be good for us, good down the stretch,” Czinano said.
Iowa shot just 41.8% for the game, but came up with crucial shots in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“Great teams make detail plays down the stretch,” Drake coach Allison Pohlman said. “If we make a couple of more shots, get a few more rebounds or steals, maybe it’s a different game.”
“Coming in here and winning on the road, I’m extremely happy with that,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.
The Hawkeyes (3-0) won their first two games of the season by a combined 96 points, but the Bulldogs (1-1) never let them get into an offensive rhythm. The final margin was Iowa’s largest lead of the game.
“There’s so much we can take away that could have made this a more comfortable win,” Clark said. “I think it shows the veterans we have on this team, we showed we could be super-steady when things didn’t go our way.”
The Bulldogs never let the Hawkeyes get away. A layup by Drake’s Katie Dinnebier with 23 seconds left in the fourth quarter tied the game at 82. The Hawkeyes had a chance to win the game, but Gabbie Marshall’s shot missed with one second left.
Iowa grabbed momentum right away in overtime. Clark had a layup 12 seconds in to put the Hawkeyes up, 84-82, then Marshall got a steal on the inbounds pass. Czinano scored on a layup 20 seconds later.
“The biggest play was Gabbie’s steal,” Clark said. “We had four points in the first three possessions, and then we were able to kind of settle into our defense. We really bought in, we made them take tough shots.”
Czinano, who led the nation in field-goal percentage the last two seasons, was 14 of 21 from the field and added 11 rebounds. She drew 11 fouls .
“My teammates were hitting me in the best spots possible,” Czinano said. “They just had a beeline to me on every possession.”
Clark, a unanimous preseason Associated Press All-American, struggled with her shooting, finishing 9 of 28 from the field.
Drake led by as much as nine points in the first half, the first time the Hawkeyes have trailed this season. Clark and Czinano combined to score 27 consecutive first-half points, but the Bulldogs led 45-41 at halftime.
All five Drake starters scored in double figures. Dinnebier led Drake with 24 points. Grace Berg had 18 points. Maggie Bair had 13 points. Sarah Beth Gueldner had 12. Megan Meyer had 11.
McKenna Warnock added 11 for Iowa.
Both coaching staffs wore t-shirts that had “Brink’s Bench” on them, in honor of former Drake player Lisa Brinkmeyer, who has cancer.
Brinkmeyer played for current Iowa coach Lisa Bluder from 1993-97 when Bluder coached the Bulldogs. Brinkmeyer led Drake to two Missouri Valley Conference titles and two NCAA tournament appearances.
Brinkmeyer attended Sunday’s game and was recognized between the first and second quarters.
“She is a trailblazer for Drake University and Drake women’s basketball,” Pohlman said.
Clark said after Thursday’s win over Evansville that she was looking forward to more difficult games that were ahead on the schedule. The in-state rival Bulldogs provided that challenge, taking advantage of the holes that showed up in Iowa’s defense.
Iowa: At Kansas State on Thursday.
Drake: At No. 22 Nebraska on Saturday.
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