Iowa women’s basketball, led by Caitlin Clark, rebounds with win over Drake following Coach Lisa Bluder’s challenge after Kansas State loss.
In a remarkable rebound performance, the No. 2 Iowa women’s basketball team, led by star player Caitlin Clark, bounced back from their first season loss with a commanding 113-90 victory over Drake on Sunday.
“Coach Bluder challenged us when we came back to practice after the K-State game, and I thought we responded really well,” Clark said, via ESPN News Services. The game marked a significant moment for Clark, who notched up 35 points and 10 assists, marking her 39th career 30-point game and surpassing Kelsey Plum’s record for the most 30-point games in Division I over the past 25 seasons.
The Hawkeyes’ rebound was a response to their first season loss, a 65-58 defeat against Kansas State. Coach Lisa Bluder’s challenge to the team was met with a strong performance, characterized by high assists and low turnovers.
“We played a little bit better than we did on Thursday night, which I was thankful for,” Lisa Bluder said. “We came out and resumed playing Iowa basketball — high assists, low turnovers.”
Iowa’s remarkable first-half performance set the tone for the game, with the team scoring a program-record 64 points and showcasing impressive shooting accuracy. They maintained a shooting percentage of 75% in the first quarter, ultimately shooting 65% in the half and combining for 27 assists against 13 turnovers.
Clark, the reigning national Player of the Year and a unanimous Associated Press preseason All-American, bounced back from one of the worst shooting nights of her college career against Kansas State. She made 14 of 22 shots in this game, including 5 of 11 3-pointers, a significant improvement from her 9-of-32 shooting performance in the previous game.
“Sometimes you have nights when they don’t go in,” she said.
Caitlin Clark affirms team’s strength
Kate Martin also had a standout performance, scoring a career-high 25 points, and making 10-of-12 shots, a dramatic improvement from her scoreless game against Kansas State.
Drake coach Allison Pohlman recognized the challenge of facing a motivated Iowa team coming off a loss. Despite solid performances from their players, Drake was overpowered by the Hawkeyes’ offensive strength.
Sharon Goodman and Molly Davis added valuable points for Iowa, contributing 15 and 10 points, respectively. The team as a whole shot an impressive 64% for the game, underscoring their offensive capabilities and resilience.
Reflecting on the Hawkeyes’ ability to bounce back, Caitlin Clark emphasized the significance of not judging a team by a single game.
“You don’t judge a team by one game, good or bad,” Clark said. “We knew that wasn’t a representation of who we are.”