Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Clarke, Zinano hold New Hampshire 93-50 to 9 hockey lead

Iowa City, Iowa (NWN) — Iowa coach Lisa Bluder usually sits as a player for most of the remainder of the first half if she picks up two quick fouls.

This policy did not apply in the Hawkeyes’ opening 93-50 win over Caitlin Clark in the number 93-50 Hawkeyes win over New Hampshire on Tuesday night.

Clarke was called up for fouls twice in the first quarter, but he did not stay on the bench for long. He played about 15 minutes in the first half despite receiving his second foul, with nine seconds remaining in the opening quarter.

The Associated Press Presidential All-American finished with 26 points, 17 in the first half.

Bluder said his decision had more to do with the score. The Hawkeyes led 31-11 at the end of the first quarter.

“I felt like, the leadership we had, it wasn’t that important to play by that rule,” Bluder said. “I felt like she was probably going to sit a lot at the end of the game.”

Clarke led the nation in scoring and assists last season. The sophomore guard said she has become a more complete player.

This is an understatement as far as New Hampshire coach Kelsey Hogan is concerned.

“Oh my god, he’s one of the best players in the country,” Hogan said. “We haven’t played a role of (his) caliber in probably three years, so it was a great experience. It’s very hard to protect him, of course. ,

It was Clarke’s first regular-season game in front of a crowd after a season of empty grounds due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m one of those players that fans like,” Clarke said. “They were very loud and energetic.”

Monica Zinano added 14 points for the Hawkeyes, continuing the inside-and-outside combination with Clarke from last season.

Clarke and Zinano were 1-2 at country in field goals last season, and both started the season with strong offensive performances.

Clarke made 6 of 10 shots and added eight rebounds and six assists. Zinano, who led the country in field-goal percentage last season after finishing second in the first season, made 7 of 10 shots and added six rebounds.

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Iowa’s defense, one of the worst in the nation last season, restricted New Hampshire to 29.7% shooting and forced 21 turnovers.

“I thought we had done some good things on defence,” Bluder said. “But this week the competition is going to be tough. And that’s something we have to keep focusing on.”

The Bloeders have never lost a season opener in their 22 seasons with the Hawkeyes, and it was not close. Iowa led 48-23 at halftime.

The Hawkeyes made 21 assists on 29 field goals.

“They are such a great team,” Hogan said. “We were trying to mix it up defensively, but they flow so well.”

McKenna Warnock had 12 points and Tomi Taiwo added 10 points for the hockey.

Amanda Torres and Sofia Widmayer had 13 points each for New Hampshire.

free throw matters

The Hawkeyes were 27 of 28 off the free-throw line, something that didn’t surprise Clarke.

“It’s something we’re proud of,” Clark said.

Iowa was fourth in the nation in free-throw percentage last season at 80%.

“I mean, those are free points. You have to make them,” said Clarke, who was 11 of 11 off the line. “When you’re in big game situations, they matter a lot.”

busy hockey

Iowa opens with seven games in 18 days, but hockey will not leave the state for its first five. They have four home games around Sunday’s road game in northern Iowa.

big picture

Iowa reached the regional semifinals of the NCAA Tournament last season with one of the nation’s best offenses and one of the worst defenses ever. It was a solid start for the hockey players, who were muddy at times. They ended up with 19 turnovers. “We got the ball rolling a few times tonight,” Blader said.

New Hampshire, USA finished seventh in the East Precision Poll, losing the opener for the sixth consecutive season.

next

New Hampshire hosts Dartmouth on Saturday.

Iowa hosts Samford on Thursdays.

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More NWN Women’s College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https:// twitter.com/AP_Top25

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