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WOMENS BASKETBALL


Iowa 95, Michigan 68

Iowa 95, Michigan 68

DAVE CAMPBELL
ASSOCIATED PRESS

MINNEAPOLIS - Caitlin Clark had 28 points to pad her all-time NCAA scoring total and matched a season high with 15 assists to lead third-ranked Iowa past Michigan 95-68 in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.

Hannah Stuelke scored 16 points, Kate Martin added 13 and Sydney Affolter had the best all-around game with 12 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals as the Hawkeyes (28-4) moved within one win of a third straight conference tournament title.

With fifth-year guard Gabbie Marshall again spearheading the effort, the Hawkeyes were locked in and maxed out on defense. They quieted first team All-Big Ten pick Laila Phelia for most of the game after her season-high 30 points fueled an upset of 12th-ranked Indiana in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Phelia had 21 points and seven assists, Jordan Hobbs scored 14 points and Lauren Hansen added 13 points for the Wolverines (20-13) went just 12 for 38 on 2-point shots. Michigan made its first seven 3-pointers and after its first miss from deep midway through the second quarter already trailed 39-30.

The Hawkeyes ran up a 54-16 points-in-the-paint advantage, founded by all the layups they set up with their season-high-tying 30 assists, and hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to finish it off and delight the Iowa-dominated sellout crowd that has flocked to see Clark and friends everywhere they play.

After missing 12 of 14 tries from deep in the 95-62 quarterfinal defeat of Penn State, when she still became the all-time NCAA leader in 3-pointers made, Clark downshifted her outside shooting a bit and let her inner point guard loose throughout the first half.

Whether with one-handed stretch passes bouncing across the court to hit her teammates in stride on the break or with a quick flick to feed a backdoor cut, Clark’s distribution game was in high gear.

She hit a 3-pointer early in the second quarter during a 9-0 run that gave the Hawkeyes the lead for good, then zipped a behind-the-back pass to Affolter for a 3-pointer off a break started by Martin’s steal on the next possession.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Iowa athletics press release





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