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Northwestern drops Big Ten Quarterfinal game in 72-59 loss to Iowa

For the third time this season, Big Ten Player of the Year Caitlin Clark, and three-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Veronica Burton, went head-to-head in Big Ten quarterfinals.
Northwestern's Courtney Shaw gets a big block off of Iowa's Monica Czinano in Big Ten quarterfinal game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Photo courtesy of Northwestern Women's Basketball. 

Northwestern's Courtney Shaw gets a big block off of Iowa's Monica Czinano in Big Ten quarterfinal game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Photo courtesy of Northwestern Women's Basketball. 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. —In a battle to advance to the Big Ten semifinals, the Big Ten Player of the Year, Caitlin Clark (19 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists), and First-Team All Big-Ten selection, Monica Czinano (21 points, 8 rebounds), were too much to handle for the Wildcats.

It was the third time these two teams met this year, Northwestern defeated Iowa on Jan. 6, 77-69, while Iowa took the victory in game two on Jan. 28, with a score of 72-67. Tonight, the Hawkeyes beat the Wildcats by 13 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. 

The Wildcats held their own against the nation's leading scorer, Clark, and the Hawkeyes in the first half with a score of 32-31. When it came to the second half, it was a different story for this Iowa team. 

Iowa head coach, Lisa Bluder, ignited the 'spark' for this Hawkeye team in the second half. They were connected and coordinated on both ends of the court. Iowa finished with team-high 20 assists and , shot 48 percent from the field, 41 percent from the 3-point line, and 82 percent from the stripe, as a team. 

Northwestern limited three of Iowa's starters to no points in the first half, #14 McKenna Warnock (2 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists), #20 Kate Martin (15 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists), #22 Gabbie Marshall (5 points). In a win or go home situation, these three combined for 22 points in the second half, after going for a combined 0-8  in the first 20 minutes. 

Once Iowa had contributions from their starting line-up besides Clark and Czinano, the Hawkeyes played like this was the Big Ten Championship game. Iowa capitalized on Northwestern's scoring drought in the second half, finishing with 38 points in the paint compared to just 16 points for Northwestern. 

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As for Northwestern on the offensive end, Veronica Burton had another signature game with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists. Lauryn Satterwhite added 12 points and Courtney Shaw notched 12 rebounds for the 'Cats. 

As a team, Northwestern shot just 28% from the field, 29% from the 3-point line, and only 69% from the stripe. 

Northwestern awaits their fate of the post-season as it will be determined next week on Selection Sunday. 

No. 2 Iowa advances to the Big Ten semifinals where they tip-off against the winner of No.3 Michigan and No. 6 Nebraska. 

The Big Ten semifinals begin tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. and are available on Big Ten Network. 

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