No. 5 Iowa decimates Rutgers 111-57 behind Davis, Clark
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Molly Davis scored a season-high 17 points, Caitlin Clark added 15 points and 10 assists, and No. 5 Iowa handily defeated Rutgers 111-57 on Sunday.
Clark, who came into the game second in the nation in scoring and assists, picked up her 13th double-double of the season in just 21 minutes. Monika Czinano had 14 points for the Hawkeyes (20-5, 12-2 Big Ten).
Iowa coach Lisa Bluder went deep into her bench in the second half, with all 14 players who were on the court scoring, including Taylor McCabe’s season-high 12 points and freshman Hannah Stuelke adding 10.
Iowa shot 62.9% from the field for the game.
“It’s not really that we won the game, it’s how we won the game,” Bluder said. “You want to win these games to build your confidence back, certainly. But you also want to execute. You can come out here and play, be sloppy and still win, but we didn’t do that.”
It was a program record for points in a Big Ten game for the Hawkeyes, and ranks second all-time in program history behind the 115 they scored against Evansville earlier this season.
Iowa, which leads the nation in scoring at 87.6 points per game, topped the 100-point mark for the third time this season.
The Hawkeyes won for the ninth time in 10 games and moved within a game of conference leader and national No. 2 Indiana, which beat Iowa 87-78 on Thursday.
“We bounced back pretty well after the Indiana disappointment, and that’s what you want you want from your team, right?” Bluder said.
Rutgers was within six points with 1:22 left in the first quarter before the Hawkeyes closed the half with a 38-12 run to take a 60-28 halftime lead.
“I think that had a lot to do with our defense,” Davis said. “We were getting stops on the defensive end and we were able to get into our transition game, and you know how good we are in transition.”
Rutgers coach Coquese Washington put it simply after the game: “Shoot, they’re tough. They kind of did what they wanted, but the biggest thing was they got going, they got loose in transition. And they have such a dangerous team when they’re in their transition game.”
Iowa’s offense kept going in the second half. The Hawkeyes made their first five shots of the third quarter, and topped the 100-point mark with 7:01 left in the game.
McCabe, who played a season-high 17 minutes, hit three consecutive 3-pointers in the third quarter.
“I know this is going to be important for me going forward in the learning process,” said McCabe, who has played in just 12 games this season.
Freshman Kaylene Smikle led Rutgers (10-16, 4-10) with 28 points.
“I know I’m biased, but she’s one of the best freshmen in the conference,” Washington said. “I don’t know there’s another freshman that has the load she has. Other freshmen are playing well, but they’re on teams with juniors and seniors ... it speaks volumes about her talent.”
Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights, with just eight players on their roster, were going to have a hard time matching the Hawkeyes’ depth. Rutgers kept the game close until midway through the first half, then Iowa’s transition game wore down the Scarlet Knights.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes needed to bounce back after Thursday’s loss to Big Ten leader Indiana, and the big first-half lead helped them do that. Clark played the longest of the starters. “Our bench tonight played really well,” Bluder said. “Just a lot of good things from this game.”
Rutgers: Hosts Northwestern on Wednesday.
Iowa: Hosts Wisconsin on Wednesday.
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