Recap: Iowa women's basketball pushes past Northwestern in Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

INDIANAPOLIS — The Iowa women's basketball team enters the Big Ten Tournament looking to cement its hosting status for the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes wouldn't mind another title either.

After clinching a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship, No. 2 seed Iowa (20-7) officially begins its postseason journey at 5:30 p.m. (CT) against No. 7 seed Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. The Wildcats open their stay by beating Minnesota Thursday evening. 

Hawk Central reporter Dargan Southard is live at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and will have live updates, analysis and commentary throughout Iowa's stay (how ever long that may be). Follow along here and on Twitter.

FINAL: Iowa 72, Northwestern 59

Hawkeyes to the semis. 

2:57/4Q: Iowa 66, Northwestern 57.

Hawkeyes offense has hit a lull here while trying to close this down. No points in about three minutes. 

4:13/4Q: Iowa 66, Northwestern 51.

Hawkeyes close to shutting this down. 

6:45/4Q: Iowa 61 Northwestern 47. 

Hawkeyes slowly putting this one away. 

END 3Q: Iowa 57, Northwestern 47. 

Hawkeyes 10 minutes from the semifinals.

1:05/3Q: Iowa 55, Northwestern 46

Big third quarter for Kate Martin, who's put up nine points and two assists. Hawkeyes starting to find some separation. 

3:23/3Q: Iowa 49, Northwestern 43

Gabbie Marshall gets her first trey to fall today, She needed that after three misses to open. 

4:47/3Q: Iowa 44, Northwestern 41.

Wildcats answer back with a couple of tough treys to stifle Iowa's momentum a bit. 

7:08/3Q: Iowa 40, Northwestern 35.

Hawkeyes finally have a sliver of separation here in the 3Q. Iowa on a 6-0 run and showing great patience on the entry passes to Monika Czinano. She's got 16. 

10:00/3Q: Second half underway.

Iowa needs a strong offensive finish to close this one out. 

HALF: Iowa 32, Northwestern 31. 

An OK Iowa half considering the foe. The Hawkeyes need some defensive tightening to with their all-Big Ten weapons on the offensive end.  

2:23/2Q: Northwestern 30, Iowa 28.

It's pretty much Caitlin Clark from deep or Monika Czinano fighting through contact for Iowa's offense right now. Those two have 24 of the Hawkeyes' first 28 points.  

4:22/2Q: Wildcats 26, Iowa 25

Hawkeyes fans come to life as Caitlin Clark drains back-to-back threes. She has three treys. Iowa only had six in each of the Northwestern matchups. Still a grind though.

8:00/2Q: Caitlin Clark from deeep

Hawkeyes needed that as Clark drains Iowa's first trey of the day. Hawkeyes only hit six threes apiece in each of the Northwestern games this season. 

END 1Q: Wildcats 17, Hawkeyes 14.

A typical Iowa-Northwestern quarter. Iowa is 7-for-17 but forced the Wildcats into a bunch of tough shots (7-for-22). Monika Czinano with 8 early points.

1:18/1Q: Northwestern 14, Iowa 10. 

Wildcats just broke a three-minute scoring drought but are still one for their last eight from the field. Iowa's defense forcing tough shots while it waits for its offense to heat up. 

4:43/1Q: Northwestern 10, Iowa 8.

5:30/1Q: Caitlin Clark on the board.

Tough runner gets the Big Ten player of the year on the board. Northwestern making every touch difficult from her. Tomi Taiwo in for Kate Martin. 

6:55/1Q: Northwestern 7, Iowa 2. 

Hawkeyes getting decent looks early against Northwestern's defense. But at least two looks at the rim have spun out. 5-2 Wildcats, early.

10:00/1Q: Underway from Indy

Away we go.

5:24 p.m. — About ready to tip

Iowa's starting lineup is as expected: Caitlin Clark, Monika Czinano, Kate Martin, Gabbie Marshall, McKenna Warnock. Pretty solid Iowa contingency here too.  

4:56 p.m. — Caitlin Clark with an interesting element of her pregame shootaround

Clark made sure to take five or six shots from the very corner of the court, you know, just in case. That's a good foot to the left of the goal. Pretty tough angle. 

4:25 p.m. — Hawkeyes on the floor

About an hour from tip here. Both teams are on the floor for the first time. Iowa in gold, Northwestern in purple.   

3:30 p.m. — Getting ready for the evening session

Gainbridge Fieldhouse has been cleared out and is getting a clean-up before the evening session. The results from the early session. 

  • No. 1 seed Ohio State 74, No. 8 seed Michigan State 58
  • No. 5 seed Indiana 62, No. 4 seed Maryland 51       

This will put the Buckeyes and Hoosiers in the semifinal opposite Iowa's side of the bracket. Indiana, on the hosting bubble right next to the Hawkeyes, beat the Terrapins after losing to them to end the regular season.

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.