Monika Czinano wouldn’t let Iowa lose. The fifth-year senior delivered in a big way on Sunday against Drake, pouring in 36 points on 14-of-21 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds to help stave off the Bulldogs in overtime, 92-86.
“My teammates were hitting me in the best spots possible. They just had a bee line look at me every possession, so that’s obviously super helpful, but I think it was just a really good team effort all around. I know I missed some assists for Caitlin, but that’s places where I can build on myself. I think that we just played a really good, cohesive game of basketball today and I’m glad I could contribute where I could,” Czinano said of her performance after the Drake win.
Czinano felt the overtime win against Drake will help this team down the stretch.
“I think it really builds our mental resolve early in the season. Every team we’re playing, like Caitlin said in our last interview, our nonconference is really good. We’re playing good teams every single night. Drake is no exception, so getting a win here, having to go into overtime, having that mental resolve and quite honestly just getting our conditioning even better. Just working out all through, I think it’s good for us and it’ll be good for us down the stretch.
With the win, Iowa improved to 3-0. In the process, Czinano was rewarded with the first Big Ten Player of the Week award for the 2022-23 season after registering her seventh career double-double. On the season, Czinano is averaging 23 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-3 native of Watertown, Minn., is shooting 69% from the field.
As of Monday’s announcement, Czinano ranked fourth in the country in field goals made with 27 and fifth in points in the NCAA with 69. This is Czinano’s second weekly award in her career, adding to her Feb. 1, 2021, recognition.
Both Czinano and teammate Caitlin Clark were named today to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 Watch List.
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