IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Caitlin Clark had 26 points and 12 assists, Monika Czinano added 23 points and No. 4 Iowa set a program record for scoring as it beat Evansville 115-62 on Thursday night.
The Hawkeyes (2-0) had their previous best scoring game on Dec. 31, 2019, a 108-72 win over Illinois.
“You don’t score the most points ever by walking the ball down the floor,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “You’ve got to run. You’ve got to play fast. We like to play fast, and then obviously, we shot the ball very well. ”
Iowa had 26 fast-break points, a running game led by Clark, who recorded the 27th double-double of her career. She was 8 of 12 from the field and had five rebounds.
“That is our best offense,” Clark said of Iowa’s transition game. “Every team knows that. When we kind of executed that, played great defense, got the ball inside to (Czinano), that’s Iowa basketball.”
“They just ran by us in transition,” Evansville coach Robyn Scherr-Wells said. “I think we weren’t just quite ready to run at that speed. They’re just elite at that.”
Clark, a preseason unanimous Associated Press All-American, led the nation in assists per game last season, but had just one assist in Monday’s 87-34 season-opening win over Southern. She spent most of this game looking for Czinano.
Czinano, who has led the nation in field-goal percentage the last two seasons, took just four shots in Monday’s win, but was 10 of 14 from the field in this game. She added seven rebounds.
“We want to get the ball to Monika,” Bluder said. “We need to. We’ve got one of the best posts in the country. We better learn how to use her.”
McKenna Warnock had 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting for the Hawkeyes, and added a team-high eight rebounds. Freshman Hannah Stuelke had 14 points.
Bluder knew the Hawkeyes left some points behind. Iowa led the nation in free-throw percentage last season, but was just 21 of 32 from the line.
Iowa shot 61.1% in the first half on the way to a 54-23 halftime lead after holding the Purple Aces to just seven first-quarter points.
The Hawkeyes also had a 51-23 rebounding edge, a number that included 14 offensive rebounds.
Evansville (1-1) scored 89 points in its season-opening win over Eastern Kentucky, but was held to 33.3% shooting by the Hawkeyes.
Myia Clark led Evansville with 18 points. Kynidi Mason Striverson and Barbora Tomancova each scored 11.
The Hawkeyes, ranked in the top 10 for the second consecutive season, needed to get Czinano more involved and they were able to do that throughout the game. They haven’t been challenged in their first two games, but they head into road games against Drake on Sunday and Kansas State next Thursday. Iowa was able to go deep into its bench — all 13 Hawkeyes who played scored. “From here on out for me, every team we play is NCAA (tournament) caliber,” Clark said. “If we want to be where we want to be in March, we have to beat these types of teams every single day.”