Iowa women’s basketball guard Molly Davis stepping up ahead of contest against Maryland

The senior is likely to start for a third straight year when the No. 6 Hawkeyes take on the No. 8 Terrapins at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday.

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Gaby Drees

Iowa guard Molly Davis dribbles the ball during a women’s basketball game between Iowa and Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, December 10, 2022. Davis had three assists. The Hawkeyes defeated the Gophers, 87-64.

Nine months into the program, Iowa women’s basketball senior guard Molly Davis said she’s still learning something new every day.

Davis transferred from Central Michigan to Iowa, where she started every game she attended for three seasons. She averaged 18.6 points per game for the Chippewas in 2021-22 before joining the Hawkeyes.

Despite her early experience, the first-team All-MAC guard knew she came to the Hawkeyes primarily to back up point guard Caitlin Clark.

But Davis has worked his way into the starting lineup for the Hawkeyes and started the last two contests — including Iowa’s win over then-No. 2 Ohio State in Columbus on Jan. 23.

As she adjusts to the caliber of starting top 10 power five games, Davis said her teammates helped her every step of the way.

“I think I’ve had a little bit of experience just playing college basketball over the past three years,” Davis said. “So, I’ve had some conference games, obviously not at that level, but, you know, I’m just taking it step by step. And every day I feel like I’m learning something new. My teammates helped me a lot and tried to adapt because obviously it’s a different level of the game.”

This season, Davis is averaging 4.5 points per game and shooting 48 percent from the field.

Davis is likely to get her third straight start on Thursday when No. 6 Iowa takes on No. 8 Maryland Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes switched to a four-guard starting lineup — Davis, Clark, senior Kate Martin and senior Gabbie Marshall — to complement center Monika Czinano after forward McKenna Warnock injured her ribs Jan. 18 against Michigan State.

Head coach Bluder said Warnock is day by day and she has not trained since her injury. However, Bluder did not rule out Warnock for Thursday’s game in Iowa.

“I don’t have an update yet, I wish I had,” Bluder said. “We have practice today, she hasn’t practiced yet. I really don’t know what [Thursday] holds… I’m not sure if she can play or what percentage she will be when she plays.

The Iowa-Maryland game kicks off a string of top-10 games for the Hawkeyes in the final month of the regular season. The Hawkeyes will take on the No. 8 Terrapins and the No. 4 Indiana Hoosiers twice.

Iowa plays Maryland on Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and February 21 in College Park, Maryland. The Hawkeyes travel to the Hoosiers in Bloomington, Indiana on February 9 and host them in the final game of the regular season on February 26.

“We know how difficult it is to win away from home in the conference, so these home games are very, very important,” said Bluder.

Iowa, Indiana and Maryland currently occupy the top three spots in the Big Ten rankings. Indiana leads the Big Ten with a 10-1 record, while Iowa is half a game behind at 9-1. Maryland, who lost to Indiana and Nebraska, is in third place, 9-2.

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