IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP)Caitlin Clark scored 24 points and Monika Czinano had 19 as No. 7 Iowa defeated Wisconsin 91-61 on Wednesday night.
McKenna Warnock added 16 points for the Hawkeyes (21-5, 13-2 Big Ten), who beat the Badgers (8-19, 3-12) for the 27th consecutive time. Iowa, which is in second place in the Big Ten, won for the 10th time in 11 games and moved within one game of conference leader Indiana.
The Hawkeyes, who lost to Indiana 87-78 on Feb. 9 to fall out of the conference lead, have been dominant since. They beat Rutgers 111-57 on Sunday.
Now they play their next two games on the road – at Nebraska on Saturday and at No. 8 Maryland on Tuesday – before hosting Indiana in the regular-season finale on Feb. 26.
”We’re not really worried about that right now,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said of the upcoming schedule. ”We control our own destiny right now. We’re worried about the Cornhuskers now, and then the game after that.”
The Hawkeyes, who lead the nation in scoring at 88.5 points per game, shot 64.3% from the field, taking advantage of the Badgers shadowing Clark on the perimeter. Iowa had 48 points in the paint, and the Hawkeyes had 27 assists against 14 turnovers.
”They started doubling the post,” Bluder said. ”I thought we did some really good things adjusting to that and really take advantage of the double-teams. And that’s what you have to do when somebody does something like that.”
”Our rotations weren’t quick enough,” Wisconsin coach Marisa Moseley said. ”You have to pick your poison when you’re facing a really good team.”
Clark was 9 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 7 on 3-pointers. She had eight assists and five rebounds while playing just 29 minutes as the Hawkeyes went deep into their bench in the fourth quarter.
”She had eight assists and three turnovers,” Bluder said. ”That’s really good basketball.”
Clark, a junior, became the first Big Ten women’s player to reach the top 10 all-time in the conference in scoring and assists.
”It’s probably something I wouldn’t have known,” Clark said. ”I think when I’m able to score, get assists and get rebounds, I put my team in a good position to win.”
Czinano, who was the nation’s leader in field-goal percentage the last two seasons and ranks third this season, was 8 of 11 from the field. She added six rebounds.
Iowa had a 14-0 run in the first quarter to erase an early Wisconsin lead. The Hawkeyes led 48-28 at halftime, and their biggest lead was 86-53 in the fourth quarter.
”Once they were able to settle in and get into their transition game, that’s the name of the game for them,” Moseley said. ”Caitlin is just masterful with her court vision, and you can’t give them momentum like we did. And I think that’s where they broke it open in the first quarter on us.”
Julie Pospisilova led Wisconsin with 16 points. Maty Wilke had 10.
Wisconsin: The Badgers have their youngest roster in 16 seasons, and it’s showed this season. ”It’s a huge, huge learning process,” Moseley said. ”These types of games are ones they remember, and there are lessons they have to go through.”
Iowa: The Hawkeyes kept pace with Indiana, which hosts Michigan on Thursday. Iowa topped the 90-point mark for the fourth time in its last five games and used its reserves for most of the fourth quarter. ”As somebody who’s on the court, it’s nice to watch them from their seat on the bench,” Clark said. ”It brings a lot of joy as a teammate.”
Wisconsin: Hosts Rutgers on Monday.
Iowa: At Nebraska on Saturday.
AP 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