Caitlin Clark, Monika Czinano address Southeastern Louisiana's defensive claims after resounding win for Iowa
Caitlin Clark and Monika Czinano were careful with their words after Iowa demolished Southeastern Louisiana in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Leading up to the game, SELA coach Ayla Guzzardo made waves when she said Iowa “is not a big defensive team” and that the Hawkeyes “don’t really want to play defense as much as we love to play defense.” One Southeastern Louisiana player also said Iowa “should be scared” that the Hawkeyes hadn’t seen a team like the Lions.
In the end, Iowa destroyed the Lions’ defense with 95 points while shooting 60% from the floor. On the flip side, the Hawkeyes held SELA to 43 points and 25.4% shooting (4-for-22 from 3-point range).
After the game, Clark and Czinano were asked about those comments and the defense they saw in Friday’s game. While the two exchanged a knowing look and smile at the podium, both chose their words carefully when answering the question.
“They had a good game, they had a good defense, I’m just going to leave it at that,” said Czinano with a smile and chuckle.
“I also think we’ve seen just about anything you can do in a game of basketball at this point,” added Clark. “We’ve seen box-and-one, we’ve seen triangle-and-two, we’ve seen everything. They were physical, they were scrappy… But I really don’t know what there is out there that you can do to us that we really haven’t seen.”
When the dust finally settled, Clark flirted with another triple-double with a game-high 26 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds. Czinano also delivered a massive performance with 22 points on 10-for-12 shooting to go with 8 rebounds.
Here’s Iowa’s full press conference following the opening round of the NCAA Tournament:
What’s next for the Hawkeyes?
With the win, Iowa will move on to face Georgia in a second-round matchup on Sunday. The Bulldogs are coming off a 66-54 win over Florida State to open the tournament.
Sunday’s game will be played in Iowa City with the Hawkeye faithful hoping to once again provide a boost to Iowa. Tip-off is set for 3 pm ET on ABC.