By Laura Vazquez David | @lauravazquezpr
Sports Capital Journalism Program
INDIANAPOLIS — As the Iowa Hawkeyes prepared for the championship game of the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament against the Indiana Hoosiers, all eyes were on Big Ten Player of the Year Caitlin Clark. But Monica Czinano really stole the show. Czinano led her team with 30 points, 10 rebounds and two assists, consistently presenting a threat that the Hoosiers could not contain.
“Monika Czinano, I think she showed why she’s one of the best posts in America,” said Hawkeye coach Lisa Bluder.
“As far as Czinano goes she is one of the best post players in the country for a reason,” said Indiana senior guard Grace Berger. “….She is so good at getting easy shots that she is so hard to stop.”
Indiana coach Teri Moren admitted that “we had no answer for Czinano…. She puts so much pressure on you…half the time she doesn’t even dribble. If you’re late for your double, she is going to make you pay.”
Czinano had her third double-double of the season and fourth of her collegiate career. The senior was just one point shy from matching her season-high total of 31.
“I’m thankful that I have one of the best field goal percentage shooters in the country wearing a Hawkeye jersey, for sure,” Bluder said. “Seventy two percent today. Give her the ball.”
Czinano currently ranks third in the nation on field-goal percentage with 67.6%.
“Right from the beginning I got some looks, and the team did a good job of feeding it,” Czinano said.
Having won the Big Ten Tournament, the Hawkeyes have an automatic qualification for the NCAA Tournament and their seeding will be announced next Sunday.
“This is the last page of the Big Ten storybook and now we look beyond that,” Czinano said. “We love the Big Ten, but we’re excited to see new teams for sure. Ever since I got here and beyond that you’ve been training for days like this.”