Clark’s triple buzzer-beater aids Iowa upset
A STUNNING finish capped off an unbelievable finish to Caitlin Clark‘s incredible night out for Iowa as the Hawkeyes stunned second seeds Indiana by a solitary point. Racking up more points than any other player in the match, as well as coming agonisingly close to a triple-double, it was fitting that Clark’s last basket – a long-range bomb – handed her sixth seeded college the NCAA Women’s win.
In a clash between two strong sides, Iowa hosted Indiana with a handy 22-6 record from the season, but even the Hawkeyes were underdogs against the 26-1 Hoosiers. In front of a passionate crowd at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, the home side found a way to knock off Indiana in a stunning upset.
The Hawkeyes started strongly to race out to a five-point lead at the first break, but that soon evaporated courtesy of a 21-17 second term going the way of the second seeded visitors. Getting back on top, Iowa scored 21-19 to lead by three points heading into the last.
After leading 83-81 with 49 second left after back-to-back free throws from Monika Czinano, Iowa watched as Clark fouled Chloe Moore-McNeil scored two of her own free throws to level the score. Iowa then took a 30-second timeout in the match, with Czinano buying time to try and go for the winner but critically missed.
With three seconds left on the clock, Indiana had the ball, and Mackenzie Holmes was immediately fouled by Czinano and sent to the line. The talented shooter made no mistake, extending the lead to two points, and all but ending the contest. Iowa needed a miracle, and that miracle came in the form of the deadly Clark.
Despite being the clear in-form shooter all night, Clark got into a position off the inbound pass with one second on the clock, to drain a three-pointer. Not only did the long-range beauty land, but the buzzer beater handed Iowa the most incredible of unlikely wins, 86-85.
Clark would end her night with 34 points in 38 minutes, including four of 12 from long-range and 12 of 22 from the field. Incredibly, the backcourt star did not just impact the scoring, but also across the board with a massive nine rebounds and nine assists. She was well supported by Czinano (13 points, nine rebounds) and Kate Martin (19 points, four assists).
Indiana shared the points around, with Holmes scoring a team-high 21 points, as well as six rebounds and two assists. Moore-McNeil (18 points, three rebounds and three assists) and Sydney Parrish (18 points, five rebounds and two assists) were next best, while Grace Berger chipped in with 16 points, eight assists and four rebounds.