In a challenging game where the Huskies committed more turnovers than they caused, Washington showed true grit and determination down the stretch to secure a victory against Iowa 70 – 63.
In holding Iowa to 63 points, Washington held the Hawkeyes well below their average 80.5 points per game.
An Early Smackdown
Washington figuratively smacked Iowa early, stunning the Hawkeyes to begin the game with an aggressive offensive and defensive barrage that built a quick 15-3 lead for the Huskies.
In the second quarter, the Huskies defense continued to clamp down on Iowa’s defense.
Washington limited the Hawkeyes to eight points in the second quarter on 3 for 13 shooting overall.
Washington’s offense sputtered for most of the second quarter as the Huskies scored only 10 points in the period, in large part because Amber Melgoza was benched due to early foul trouble.
However, the Huskies inspired defense resulted in 13 turnovers by Iowa in the first half and Washington was able to maintain its lead despite troubles with their offense.
At halftime, the Dawgs were leading the Hawkeyes 29-20.
Second Half Battle
At the break, Iowa looked shook but a second half recovery was expected from a team that finished in the Elite 8 in the 2019 NCAA tournament.
Iowa’s #25 Monika Czinano is a dominant force in the post and she could be a huge problem if Darcy Rees and the freshman bigs, Ali Bamberger and Quay Miller, can’t contain her.
And Czinano made her presence felt in the second half by making 4-of-5 shots to finish with 15 points.
Reinserted in the game to start the second half, Amber Melgoza came on with a vengeance as she scored 18 of her team-high 20 points in the second half (along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 28 minutes).
Another notable offensive performance came from Missy Peterson with 10 points, 5 rebounds, four assists and 1 steal.
T.T. Watkins was a standout with her energy and inspired play on both ends, she also scored 10 points along with 4 rebounds and 1 assist in 16 minutes.
T.T. also hit two clutch 3-pointers (2-for-2 3PTs)for the Huskies.
Haley Van Dyke continued her 2019 steal-fest swiping 4 steals along with 7 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists in 27 minutes.
Winning Ugly is Pretty
Washington overcame a somewhat “ugly” game where the Huskies improbably committed 26 turnovers while only forcing 19 total by Iowa.
Even more strange, the Hawkeyes actually outscored Washington 43-41 in the second half.
The Huskies improbable victory came from their higher than usual shooting efficiency — Washington shot 41.4% on field goals overall, while making 41.3% (12-of-29) of their three-point shots.
Washington actually made double the number of three-pointers as Iowa (6-of-28 3PTs) an improbable result as we also noted in our game preview:
Iowa is in the Top 50 for Three-point shooting percentage and Effective Field Goal shooting percentage.
Also, the Huskies continued their highly efficient Assisted Shot Rate with 19 assisted field goals which also matched their average of 19.5 Assists entering the game..
Iowa fought to the end.
The Hawkeyes cut Washington’s lead to 64-58 late in the fourth quarter but they couldn’t close the gap, as the Huskies continued to make their free throws in response to Iowa fouling to stop the clock.
Washington gave a stellar performance at the free throw line throughout the game, making 10-of-11 free throw attempts.
More importantly, the Huskies took another step forward in defeating an excellent Iowa team with a total team effort — and what is becoming a signature defensive effort.
The Huskies finished the Puerto Rico Clasico with an undefeated 3-0 record and they have now won five straight games.
Also, the Dawgs improved their season record to 6-1.
The Huskies beat an established Top 25 (or Top 30) women’s basketball program in Iowa; with superior depth, length and athleticism, as well as superior effort.
As Jody Wynn’s program continues to grow and progress, it is an exciting time for the Huskies and their fans.
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