By Susan Harman
Iowa disposed of Purdue-Fort Wayne, 98-59, Friday night in the opener of the Gulf Coast Showcase in just the manner it wanted with one exception.
Everybody got to play, and 11 different players scored. No player played more than 27 minutes and Iowa stayed in a zone the whole game.
“I thought we were able to have some fun out there tonight and show some Iowa team basketball,” Sharon Goodman told Hawkeye Radio.
Caitlin Clark scored 29 points, making 6-of-9 from behind the arc, and added eight assists. Sharon Goodman had 16 points, Hannah Stuelke 13, Kate Martin scored nine and made all four of her shots. Sydney Affolter scored seven and grabbed team-high nine rebounds. Gabbie Marshall made 2-of-4 shots behind the arc.
“I thought we did a really good job,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said on Hawkeye Radio. “We shot the ball well from all areas. I thought our 3-point defense was a lot better in the second half. We rebounded well, and we got everybody into the game, which is something you like to do in a tournament when you’re playing multiple games.”
A.J. Ediger had her first minutes this season after sitting out with a leg injury. Jada Gyamfi made her first 3-pointer.
Overall Iowa (5-1) shot .556 from the field and .407 from 3-point range.
Purdue-FW as led by Amellia Bromenschenkel’s 16 points. The Mastodons (2-2) shot 31 percent from the field and from behind the arc.
Coach Lisa Bluder is one victory shy of 500 as the Iowa coach.
The one problem was that Stuelke left the floor early in the fourth quarter with some kind of leg injury. She slapped the court in frustration before managing to walk off the floor. A trainer attended her, and later they went into the locker room.
“We’re going to hope that Hannah’s going to be OK for tomorrow,” Bluder said in her only remarks about her talented sophomore post.
Florida Gulf Coast (4-1)will be Saturday’s second-round opponent. The Eagles beat Delaware 83-68 Friday night. In doing so they made 37 percent of their 3-point shots. They took 62 shots overall and 35 were behind the arc. The Eagles were led by guards Maddie Anderson with 20 points. Forward Uju Ezeudu and guard Dolly Cairns each had 15 points. This team may resemble Drake in its run-and-gun philosophy.
“We’ve got to be able to get out and cover shooters because Florida Gulf Coast has really good shooters,” Bluder said.
North Carolina plays Kansas State in the other semifinal.