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Iowa Women Blow-out Marist 87-65

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Marist coach Brian Giorgis warned everyone that Iowa was a little bit like the Red Foxes, but probably a little bit better as well.

Giorgis proved to be prophetic.

Theairra Taylor scored 22 points, Bethany Doolittle added 21 and Iowa blew out Marist 87-65 on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Samantha Logic had 11 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the sixth-seeded Hawkeyes (27-8), who will face third-seeded Louisville on Tuesday for a trip to the Sweet Sixteen.

"It's the nightmare that you are afraid of when they have all five people that can score, and four of them shoot the 3 and one of them is a stud inside. What do you take away?" Giorgis said. "No complaints. We lost to a better team."

Iowa took control late in the first half and relied on strong shooting to advance to the second round for the second year in a row. The Hawkeyes shot 57 percent from the field and 12 of 25 from 3-point range

Emma O'Connor, Sydney Coffey and Madeline Blais each had 12 to lead the 11th-seeded Red Foxes (27-7), who were outscored 49-35 in the second half.

Marist drew its best seed since 2011 and was looking to upend a high major with a higher seed for the second time in three years.

But the Red Foxes simply had no answer for Iowa's scalding outside shooting.

Taylor and Ally Disterhoft buried back-to-back 3s to put the Hawkeyes ahead 53-44, and Doolittle's jumper gave Iowa a 13-point lead with just over 10 minutes left.

Disterhoft then hit a 3 from the corner without a Marist defender in sight with 6:55 left, making it 67-51 and perfectly encapsulating Iowa's perimeter dominance.

"If we played on Mars, I think Iowa would have beaten us the way they shot the ball," Giorgis said.

What made the Marist-Iowa matchup such an intriguing one was that each team boasted eerily similar offensive profiles.

Each starter for the Red Foxes averaged between 10.9 and 13.6 points per game, while the Hawkeyes had five starters with at least 12 points a game.

The Hawkeyes certainly looked the part in their gleaming home whites -- while the red in more than a few of Marist's road jerseys bled into the once-white, screen-printed numbers during a recent wash.

But the biggest problem the Red Foxes had in the first half wasn't laundry. It was Logic, Taylor and Doolittle, each of whom had 11 points in 20 minutes.

Still, Marist entered the second half down just 38-30. The Red Foxes later got within 47-42 before Taylor drilled a 3 from the elbow, and it wasn't long before Iowa overwhelmed Marist.

"I mean, people forget they're a little bit more athletic than we are," Giorgis said. "Again, the frustrating part is they've got three excellent 3-point shooters and a first team All-Big Ten stud in the middle. I think our kids got frustrated."

Iowa's starters wound up outscoring the Red Foxes starting five 76-47. But Marist's seniors can leave the program knowing they made four trips to the NCAA tournament -- and this was the only time a game truly got away from them.

"I think getting four rings for the MAAC is nice. Other teams in different conferences can't say they have four rings," senior Leanna Ockenden said.
 
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