Iowa women's basketball: After delay, Hawkeyes' game versus Michigan scheduled for late-night tip

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — After a COVID-19-related delay pushing several hours, the Iowa women's basketball game scheduled for Thursday against Michigan will start around 8:30 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Initially scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m., the game was delayed "in conjunction with COVID-19 protocols."

Michigan and Iowa staffers initially returned to the floor around 7:15 p.m., and Hawkeyes players Lauren Jensen, Tomi Taiwo, Alexis Sevillian and Zion Sanders did the same about five minutes later. Eventually, the entire Iowa roster came back out for a shootaround — minus sophomore guard Gabbie Marshall and junior forward Logan Cook. Michigan players returned to the floor as well. 

Marshall eventually joined her teammates during a second shootaround around 8:05 p.m. Iowa coach Lisa Bluder later confirmed Cook was the one who tested positive COVID-19 test.

"(The players) been kind of building up momentum to get up for the game, so they'll have to kind of come down a little bit, and then be prepared to come right back up whenever tipoff is going to be," Iowa assistant coach Raina Harmon said on the pregame show around 3:30 p.m. (CT), shortly after the game was officially delayed. "So again, we're not going to settle for anything because the dynamics have changed around this game. We're expecting focus and 100 percent effort from our team."      

 It was clear something was off well before the originally scheduled tip time.. Iowa initially came out for warmups before huddling near the bench and eventually leaving the court. Michigan never came out for warmups. 

The Wolverines were recently on a COVID-19 pause, having six games postponed (including five in a row) between Jan. 18 and Feb 7. Michigan has played four games since its pause ended. Iowa hasn't had to pause this season but has had two games postponed by COVID-19.   

"Both institutions have decided to delay the game in conjunction with COVID-19 protocols and will play later today if possible," said an Iowa release, which dropped around 3:15 p.m. "If the game is not played today, the teams will work with the Big Ten Conference to reschedule the contest.

"The decision to pause and delay was made jointly by the Michigan and Iowa Department of Athletics and the sports medicine staffs in consultation with the Big Ten Conference."

Men's basketball: Iowa vs. Michigan:

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.