Despite missing two starters, Iowa women's basketball rolls to 25th straight win over Wisconsin
One day, Wisconsin women's basketball will end its absurdly long losing streak to Lisa Bluder's Iowa Hawkeyes.
Thursday was not that day.
No. 24 Iowa shook off a slow offensive start and made it another cruise-control visit to the Kohl Center, zooming by the Badgers, 84-50, for the Hawkeyes' 25th straight win over Wisconsin. Iowa (15-5, 9-2 Big Ten Conference) still hasn't lost to its northeastern neighbor since February 2007.
The Hawkeyes began the night with two starters in street clothes, as Gabbie Marshall and McKenna Warnock both sat after suffering injuries in Monday's loss to Ohio State. Tomi Taiwo and Kylie Feuerbach took their places in the starting lineup. The shakeup, though, did little to slow Iowa down.
After shaking off some early sputters — Iowa had three points through the first five minutes — the Hawkeyes warmed up the way they usually do. Caitlin Clark kept adding to another ridiculous triple-double stat line. Monika Czinano (17 points) pounded the Badgers (5-16, 2-9) down low with relentless consistency. Freshman Addison O'Grady had a career-high 16 points. Soon enough, Iowa had the cushion it usually enjoys against the Badgers.
The Hawkeyes' lead reached double figures less than three minutes into the second quarter and stayed there for good after five minutes remained in the first half. A 38-20 intermission advantage only ballooned further after the break. Extended runs from Iowa's bench players yielded productivity in a runaway second half.
The only drama in this one was how much Clark would fill up the box score. She's set a high standard, particularly in Big Ten road games, meaning the record books could always need adjusting when the standout sophomore takes the floor. Thursday was her fifth triple-double this season, as Clark racked up 27 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the win. She was one assist away from doing it in three quarters.
Even with the lopsided ledger, Iowa gained a few important things from this win. First, the Hawkeyes didn't let Monday's emotional loss to Ohio State linger into Thursday's contest. Second, Iowa was able to rest Warnock and Marshall in hopes of getting them back for Sunday's massive trip to No. 5 Michigan. The Hawkeyes will need every weapon they've got to make this an unbeaten week on the road.
Getting to that opportunity first meant navigating another trip to Wisconsin. It was an uneventful venture — just how the Hawkeyes like it.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.