Iowa struggled offensively in a 78-69 loss in its Big Ten opener against Nebraska. They did not struggle offensively against Illinois in their Big Ten home opener. Not even a little bit. Iowa shot 65% from the floor and 50% from three in a 108-72 drubbing of Illinois.
The Hawks got rolling early, scoring 27 first quarter points on their way to a 13-point lead. The second quarter was closer for a time, as Illinois’ offense began to match Iowa’s. But eventually the Illini offense cooled down, and Iowa’s didn’t. The Hawks took a 57-38 lead into halftime.
Iowa’s offense stayed hot in the second half, and they briefly led by 40 late in the 4th quarter before settling for the 36-point victory.
Kathleen Doyle led Iowa with 33 points on 11-14 shooting. It was the best scoring game of her Iowa career, as she shot well while getting to the basket at will. Monika Czinano added 16 points and 6 rebounds. Her 7-10 shooting somehow brought down her season average from the field. Makenzie Meyer scored 15 points, going 5-10 from three. Amanda Ollinger was the final Hawkeye in double figures with 12 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists. A box score for the game is here.
There isn't a whole lot more to say about the game beyond "Iowa's offense was really, really, really good." They shot 73% from the floor in the first quarter. And they shot 73% from the floor again in the second quarter. And after shooting "only" 50% from the floor in the third quarter, they shot 64% from the floor in the fourth quarter. They outscored Illinois in every quarter of the game and by double digits in the first, third, and fourth quarters. When you just can't miss, the game of basketball becomes very easy.
Iowa returns to action on Sunday, January 5 at 1 PM CT on the road against Northwestern (11-1 overall, 1-0 Big Ten). The game will be streamed on BTN+.