The Big Ten Tournament Championship Game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse featured #2 Iowa vs. #5 Indiana. The Field house is louder than it has been all week as the two teams meet for the third time this year. The two teams previously played two times in three days, with Iowa winning both matchups. The tournament title is on the line, along with a possible high seed in the NCAA tournament.
In the first quarter, Iowa finished with the lead in a tight game 18-16. Iowa shot 41,2% in the first quarter while passing the ball well, having 6 assists as a team. Monika Czinano had 10 points in the quarter for Iowa. Indiana’s scoring leader in the first quarter was Nicole Cardano-Hillary, with 8 points.
The second started off close, but Indiana went on a five in a half minute scoring drought, missing ten in a row. Iowa took advantage of that and built a 7-point lead with a little more than a minute to go in the half. Indiana finished the half strong by making 5 points in a row to cut the Iowa lead to 35-33 going into the half. The cold shooting by the Hoosiers has led to them shooting 38% for the half compared to the 45% shooting of the Hawkeyes. The three-ball has not been falling for either team in the first half.
The third quarter started off nicely for the Hoosiers, with them tying the score game and trading baskets for a while until Iowa turned up the heat going on a 6-0 run to take the lead with about three minutes to go in the quarter. As the third quarter came to a close Iowa took a 51 -48 lead over Indiana, with Monika Czinano leading the charge with 20 points. Grace Berger has 16 points for the Hoosiers. Three-point shooting has been missing for both teams as there have only been two a piece made by them.
The fourth quarter started with both teams trading points going keeping up with each other. Indiana finally hit a 3 pointer by Cardano-Hillary, to cut the Iowa lead to 60-57 with 6:35 to go in the quarter. Iowa’s Czinano is just proving to be a force in the middle hard to stop with 27 points in 28 minutes so far. Points off of turnovers hurt Indiana today, with Iowa scoring 15 off turnovers with lee than 4 minutes to go in the game. Down the stretch, the inside game was too much for Indiana to contend with and just could not catch up.
Iowa wins the game 74- 67, with Monika Czinano scoring 30 points with 10 rebounds. Caitlin Clark scored 18 for Iowa.
Grace Berger was the leading scorer for Indiana with 20 points and unfortunately fouled out of the game. Nicole Cardano-Hillary finished the game with 19 points and 7 rebounds. The three-point shooting today really hurt the Hoosiers as they shot 4-19 for the game. Indiana had a good tournament after how the season ended. This should help them regroup as they now wait to see who they play next, likely a home first-round game, in the NCAA tournament.
Iowa wins The Big Ten Tournament for the 2nd time in four years.
Here is a link to the photos of the Iowa vs. Indiana game: Indiana vs. Iowa Photos