The No. 2 seed Iowa women’s basketball team defeated No. 5-seed Louisville, 97-83, on Sunday night inside Climate Pledge Arena to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1993.
National Player of the Year Candidate Caitlin Clark recorded her 11th career triple-double with 41 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. The Des Moines native became the first player in NCAA Tournament history to record a 40-point triple-double.
Two other Hawkeyes finished in double digits, as McKenna Warnock registered her 20th double-digit game with 17 points and five rebounds. Gabbie Marshall had 14 points and tied her season-high 4 steals.
Iowa had to dig deep quickly, after trailing, 8-0, in the first three minutes of the game. Clark did what she does best, going on her own, 7-0, run to trail by one. Warnock got involved, swishing her own three and then finishing a layup from a Clark transition pass. Clark finished the quarter with 15 points, and assisted every other scored basket to take a, 25-21, lead going into the second.
Five Hawkeyes scored in the second, shooting 62 percent from the field with Clark and Warnock having 13 of the team’s 23 points.Monika Czinano went to work, scoring back-to-back points in the paint to increase the lead to seven. Louisville responded with four points of their own, but Warnock hit back-to-back threes to regain control and get the crowd on their feet. The Cardinals wouldn’t back down, but Iowa was able to keep a, 48-43, lead heading into half.
Marshall sunk two threes in the stretch of an, 11-0, run at the start of the half to help give Iowa a, 59-47, lead. Iowa went on a two-minute scoring drought, but Clark knocked down three free throws to take back control. Marshall swished her third three of the quarter to start another, 11-0, scoring run at the end of the third to go into the final 10 up by 19.
Iowa didn’t let up in the fourth, as five Hawkeyes contributed to the scoreboard. Clark had eight of the team’s 19 fourth-quarter points. Free throws solidified the win at the end of the quarter to give Iowa their fourth final-four appearance in program history.
***Courtesy of the University of Iowa***