Caitlin Clark led the Iowa Hawkeyes to their first Final Four in 28 years, scoring a historic 40-point triple-double in their Elite Eight matchup against Louisville. The Hawkeyes secured a 97-83 win at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, with Clark scoring or assisting on all of their 25 points in the first quarter alone.
Clark’s triple-double was her fifth of the season and the 11th of her career, as well as being the first-ever 40-point triple-double in the men’s or women’s NCAA tournament.
The Hawkeyes overcame a slow start by Louisville, who led by eight points early in the game. Clark, however, turned things around with 15 points in the first quarter, helping Iowa to a four-point lead at the end of the period.
By halftime, Clark had scored 42 of the Hawkeyes’ 48 points, while Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith and Chrislyn Carr kept their team in the game with 17 and 11 points respectively.
Although Louisville cut Iowa’s lead to one point early in the third quarter, the Hawkeyes rallied back each time and took a 19-point lead into the final period. Despite a late run by Louisville, Iowa held on to secure a 14-point victory. Van Lith finished with 27 points for Louisville, while Clark recorded 41 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds, responsible for 70 of Iowa’s 97 points.
In addition to her historic performance, Clark also became the first-ever Division I player, male or female, to score over 900 points and record over 300 assists in a single season. Iowa will face either No. 1 South Carolina or No. 2 Maryland in the Final Four in Dallas on Friday, having already beaten Maryland twice this season. South Carolina enters Monday’s game against Maryland with a perfect 35-0 record, led by Player of the Year candidate Aliyah Boston.
Overall, Iowa shot almost 54% from the field and made 16 of 35 three-point attempts, with McKenna Warnock adding 17 points and Gabbie Marshall contributing 14 points. Clark’s outstanding performance led the Hawkeyes to their second Final Four appearance in school history and fulfilled her goal of taking the program to that stage
“All you gotta do is dream, and all you gotta do is believe and work your butt off to get there. That’s what these girls did, and that’s what our coaches did, and we’re going to Dallas, baby.”
Ohio State Women’s Basketball Defeats UConn, Ending Streak and Advancing to Round of 8
Third-seeded Ohio State women’s basketball team defeated the second-seeded Connecticut 73-61 to reach the round of 8 in the NCAA tournament, ending the Huskies’ streak of reaching the final weekend of the tournament. Ohio State took control in the second quarter with a game-defining run, utilizing a swarming press defense to force turnovers and score 17 straight points.
UConn’s Lou Lopez Sénéchal was injured in the second quarter but returned in the second half to lead the Huskies with 25 points. UConn’s leading scorer Aaliyah Edwards was held to just four points due to foul trouble.
Ohio State’s Cotie McMahon led the team with 23 points. UConn turned the ball over on eight straight possessions at the beginning of the second quarter and struggled to regain their balance.
Ohio State’s Kevin McGuff praised his team’s ability to disrupt UConn’s game. With the win, Ohio State advanced to the round of 8 for the first time since 1993, while UConn’s streak of reaching the final weekend of the tournament ended after 29 consecutive appearances.
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