No. 9 Iowa women's basketball rolls past New Hampshire in season opener
Last season, the Iowa women's basketball team made a run to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen without fans present. On Tuesday night, a lively home crowd cheered them on to their first win of the season.
Finally, after a 615-day hiatus, fans entered Carver-Hawkeye Arena for opening night in college basketball. The No. 9 ranked Iowa women's basketball team welcomed them back and opened their 2021-22 campaign with a dominant 93-50 win over New Hampshire.
Sophomore guard Caitlin Clark scored the first basket, a 3-pointer, only 30 seconds into the game. She led all scorers with 26 points and added eight rebounds and six assists. Fellow preseason All-Big Ten selection, center Monika Czinano contributed 14 points and six rebounds.
Iowa's five returning starters from last year showed cohesion throughout the evening, combining for 66 of the team's total points. The five — Clark; Czinano; Gabbie Marshall; Kate Martin and McKenna Warnock — averaged only 23.2 minutes of playing time. Head coach Lisa Bluder's challenge in the early slate of games is monitoring minutes and fatigue; including Tuesday night, the Hawkeyes play three games in five days.
More:Iowa women's basketball thoughts: Defense, interior depth, a tough non-conference stretch and more
With the win, Bluder is only four wins away from reaching 800 total. Iowa's next game is Thursday at home against Samford at 6:30 pm.
Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at email@example.com.