Ninth-ranked When Iowa returned from a COVID-19 break in the second part of the season, it didn’t appear like it was facing a hostile audience. Consequently, Duke’s perfect start gave the Blue Devils the confidence and energy they needed to capitalize and deliver second-year coach Kara Lawson her most meaningful win in a coaching career so far.

No. 9 Lowa Returned On Saturday With A Loss To Duke

On Thursday night, Shayeann Day-Wilson led the Blue Devils to a 79-64 victory against Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, who had 19 points to lead all scorers. By outscoring the Hawkeyes by as many as 18 points at one point, the Blue Devils extended their best start in eight years

No. 9 Lowa Returned On Saturday With A Loss To Duke

.”We aspire to be competitive with everyone against whom we compete,” Lawson said. “It’s what people anticipate. There is no guarantee that we will win every bout, but the goal is to compete.”

Celeste Taylor had 17 points and 13 rebounds in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge against the Duke Blue Devils. After the midway point of the first quarter, the Blue Devils never trailed. Despite converting only six of their 21 3-point tries, Duke was able to win despite shooting 44 percent from the field.

The Blue Devils held committed to Lawson’s pre-game focus on core principles. Keep the Hawkeyes away from the free-throw line at all costs (Iowa shot 10 free throws). When you’re ready, shoot! (Duke finished with a 45-35 rebounding advantage, including 16-10 on the offensive glass). Concentrate on one-on-one defense rather than relying on others for help, which would leave shooters vulnerable. (Iowa was 19-for-39 from long range).

A high-five with a few teammates at midcourt ended the game, and as she made her way into the locker room, Day-Wilson signaled for the “Cameron Crazies” to become louder. She noted a “great” experience, although there is still work to be done within their team. And that’s only the beginning. So don’t be surprised if you see a lot more big wins in your future. The only thing we need to do now is keep the ball rolling.

The bulk of Clark’s effort came on a poor shooting night after Duke built a large lead, but the Hawkeyes (4-1) ended with 22 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists, thanks to his performance. On Saturday, the preseason AP All-American, who was averaging 21.5 points per game, made only 9 of 27 from the field and 1 of 13 from the three-point line. Despite Monika Czinano’s 21 points, Iowa’s outside shooters failed to offer any counterbalance for the Hawkeyes.

It’s been almost a month since Iowa last played, when they defeated Southern on November 17. Drake’s home match versus Drake was the first to be canceled, followed by Seton Hall and USC matches in the Cancun Challenge in Mexico.

Do you think our COVID break is to blame for this? ‘I don’t know,’ Bluder said when pressed. One of the three games they were supposed to play as a warm-up for this one has been over for two weeks. Even yet, this was definitely not an Iowa performance we were thrilled with.