Iowa No.9 Returns From COVID-19 Break, Loses To Duke 79-64 | National sports

DURHAM, NC (AP) – Ninth-ranked Iowa has never appeared to play a road game in front of a hostile crowd on its return from a COVID-19 break.

“We were in a bad mood,” coach Lisa Bluder said.

And Duke – playing with confident aggressiveness built on an unbeaten start – leapt to give second-year coach Kara Lawson the biggest win of his brief tenure.

Freshman Shayeann Day-Wilson scored 19 points and the Blue Devils frustrated Iowa star Caitlin Clark in Thursday night’s 79-64 win, leading up to 18 points to extend the best start of the program in eight years.

“Our expectation is to compete with everyone we play with,” Lawson said. “It’s the wait. I don’t know if we’ll beat everyone we play against, but the expectation is to compete.

Celeste Taylor added 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Blue Devils, who didn’t hang around midway through the first quarter in this Big Ten / ACC Challenge game. Duke shot 44% and won despite shooting 6 of 21 for 3 points.

The Blue Devils stayed true to the key points Lawson pushed ahead of the game:

– Keep the top performing Hawkeyes out of the foul line (Iowa shot 10 free throws).

– Attack the glass (Duke finished with a 45-35 rebound advantage, including 16-10 on the offensive glass).

– Focus on 1v1 defense without needing any help that would leave shooters open. (Iowa finished 3 for 19 in a 3-point range).

In the end, Day-Wilson shared a high-five near midfield with several teammates, then motioned for the “Cameron Crazies” to get stronger as she made her way to the locker room.

“It was an incredible feeling, but there is still work to be done within our team,” she said. ” And that’s just the beginning. So get ready, there will be more big wins. We just have to stay locked up and keep rolling. “

Clark had 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Hawkeyes (4-1), with most of that production taking place on a brutal shooting night after Duke built his big lead. The Associated Press All-American preseason, who entered 21.5 points, shot 9 of 27 from the field and 1 of 13 by 3 points.

Monika Czinano had 21 points while providing a reliable presence at the post, but Iowa’s outside shooters offered little balance.

The Hawkeyes hadn’t played since their victory over Southern on Nov. 17. Three games have been called off, first a home game with Drake followed by dates with Seton Hall and USC at the Cancun Challenge in Mexico.

“How much is due to our COVID break?” I don’t know, ”Bluder said. “We haven’t played for two weeks and one day, missed three games that were supposed to prepare for this game. … But it certainly wasn’t an Iowa performance we’re proud of.

Iowa: Bluder was very concerned about details like the impact of the interruption on the timing of passes and cuts. Iowa got off to a quick start, feeding Czinano into the paint for a 6-0 lead, but the Hawkeyes couldn’t reliably hit anything on the outside as Duke continued to extend his lead. Iowa didn’t have more than 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Duke: The Blue Devils were playing their second game against an opponent classified under Lawson, whose first season amid the pandemic lasted just four games when the schedule pulled out of the rest of the season over Christmas last year . Now they have their first 7-0 start since opening the 2013-14 season at 10-0, much of their success coming from their rebounding work and scoring 19 points on turnovers.

Clark missed 12 of her first 14 shots with Day-Wilson and Vanessa de Jesus leading the defensive effort on her. One of them was an early air balloon, drawing increased ruckus from crazies the rest of the way.

After missing a 3 against Day-Wilson as the shot clock stopped, Clark threw his head back in frustration. Other 3 have come in transition from the NBA lineup.

“She took a really hard 3 though,” Bluder said. “And she has to be smarter when they’re not falling, reach the edge a little better. You know, stop taking them. And she just kept walking.

“You want shooters to have short memories, but maybe it was a little too short tonight.”

Iowa: The Hawkeyes host Michigan State on Sunday in their Big Ten opener.

Duke: The Blue Devils visit Penn on Sunday, then take an extended hiatus before facing top-ranked South Carolina on December 15.

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