Caitlin Clark’s historic triple-double
- Caitlin Clark’s historic triple-double leads No. 2 Iowa past No. 5 Louisville to Final Four
- Caitlin Clark made even more history on Sunday night, and led the Hawkeyes to a Final Four for the first time in three decades.
- The Hawkeyes beat Louisville 97-83 at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle to secure a spot in the Final Four for the second time in school history, and the first time since 1993.
Caitlin Clark’s historic triple-double
On Sunday night, Caitlin Clark etched her name in the history books once again as she propelled the Hawkeyes to their first Final Four appearance in thirty years. In their Elite Eight showdown against No. 5 Louisville, No. 2 Iowa dominated thanks to Clark’s impressive 40-point triple-double performance.
The game, held at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, ended in a 97-83 victory for the Hawkeyes. This win marks the second time Iowa has reached the Final Four in their school’s history and the first time since 1993.
Not only was Clark’s triple-double her fifth of the season and the 11th of her career, but it also marked a historic moment in NCAA tournament history. Her incredible 40-point triple-double is the first of its kind ever recorded in both men’s and women’s NCAA tournament play.
“I thought our team played really well, that’s what it’s all about,” Clark said on ESPN. “I just wanted to give it every single thing I had. When I came here, I said I wanted to take this program to the Final Four. All you gotta do is dream, and all you gotta do is believe and work your butt off to get there, and that’s what I did. That’s what these girls did, and that’s what our coaches did, and we’re going to Dallas baby.”
Following an early run by Louisville, Clark took charge.
At the start of the game, Louisville surged ahead with an 8-0 run, handing the Hawkeyes their largest deficit of the tournament up to that point. However, Clark quickly turned things around by the end of the quarter. In fact, she contributed to all of Iowa’s 25 points in the first quarter, scoring 15 of her 41 points of the night and assisting on the rest. This gave the Hawkeyes a four-point lead going into the second quarter.
Despite Van Lith and Carr keeping Louisville in the game early, with Van Lith putting up 17 points in the first half and Carr going 3-of-3 from the 3-point line, Iowa maintained a lead at halftime, with Clark accounting for 42 of the Hawkeyes’ 48 points in the first 20 minutes.
Although Louisville cut the game to just one point at the beginning of the third quarter and later to seven points, Iowa responded each time and extended their lead to double digits. In the third quarter, Gabbie Marshall contributed her first points of the game with three 3-pointers, and Iowa closed out the quarter on an 11-2 run while keeping Louisville scoreless for more than three minutes, taking a 19-point lead into the final quarter.
Despite a brief 13-1 run by Louisville late in the fourth quarter, the Hawkeyes held on for a 14-point victory. Van Lith led Louisville with 27 points, followed by Cochran with 20 points and 14 rebounds, and Carr with 11 points.
Clark makes NCAA history in win
Clark had a remarkable performance, scoring 41 points, dishing out 12 assists, and grabbing 10 rebounds, accounting for an incredible 70 of Iowa’s 97 points. This marked her 17th double-double of the season, and the 18th time this season that she recorded at least 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists – a feat achieved by only five other Division-1 players.
In the first quarter, Clark also became the first player in Division I history, regardless of gender, to score at least 900 points and record at least 300 assists in a single season.
In addition to Clark’s impressive numbers, McKenna Warnock contributed 17 points and five rebounds, and Marshall finished with 14 points. As a team, Iowa shot nearly 54% from the field and made 16 of their 35 attempts from beyond the arc.
Next, Iowa will face either No. 1 South Carolina or No. 2 Maryland in the Final Four in Dallas on Friday. Iowa has a 2-1 record against Maryland and defeated them in the Big Ten championship game. The Gamecocks, who are led by Player of the Year candidate Aliyah Boston, enter the Monday game against Maryland with a perfect 35-0 record.
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