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Iowa vs. Nebraska highlights: Caitlin Clark drops 38 in Hawkeyes win

Ho hum, another day, another 30-point game for Caitlin Clark. 

The reigning national player of the year, Clark has never scored less than 30 against Nebraska . And it was more of the same Saturday, as she dropped 38 points, also grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing six assists and tallying two steals in No. 5 Iowa’s 92-73 win. She connected on 8-of-15 3-point attempts during the game.

She scored 28 in the second half alone, which she told the Big Ten Network was a result of playing with “more intensity, more emotion and more pride.” She also credited the way Iowa moved the ball in the second half, which helped the Hawkeyes total 20 assists. 

With another dominant performance, Clark also moved closer to setting a new NCAA career scoring record, and is now just five points away from passing Jackie Stiles.

Here’s how everything unfolded on Saturday in Iowa City:

Final: Iowa 92, Nebraska 73

Three players scored in double figures led by — who else? — Caitlin Clark, who finished with 38. She also grabbed 10 rebounds to tally the 53rd double-double of her career. Kate Martin chipped in 16, and Sydney Affolter had 12 off the bench. Iowa hit 12 3s in the win (eight from Clark) and recorded 20 assists. 

Though the win gets Iowa back on track after last week’s upset at Ohio State, the Hawkeyes were out rebounded 40-31 though, which means there’s still room for improvement. 

5:00 4Q: Iowa 73, Nebraska 61

Is Caitlin Clark about to set another record? 

Clark has 33 points already, which means she’s just 10 away from moving past Jackie Stiles on the all-time women’s scoring list. She’s also hit eight 3-pointers, and her career-high is nine. 

End of 3Q: Iowa 63, Nebraska 49

There’s just no stopping Clark, and slowing her down isn’t easy, either. 

Clark leads the nation with 5.2 3-pointers per game — she particularly loves going to the left — and she’s already got six with 10 minutes left to play. Her stat line through the first 30 minutes: 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Kate Martin is also in double figures with 15, and has shot 6-of-8 so far today. 

On the other bench, Markowski has cooled considerably, though she does have 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

6:53 3Q: Iowa 48, Nebraska 35

And just like that, Iowa has a 13-point lead. It’s the Hawkeyes’ largest lead of the game.

Back-to-back 3s from Clark — part of Iowa’s streak of connecting on four of its last four field goal attempts — has given the Hawkeyes some breathing room. Clark is up to 18 points (about 13 away from her average) and Nebraska needs a timeout. 

Halftime: Iowa 36, Nebraska 31

Clark drained a 3 at the buzzer (what else is new?) and Iowa ends the half on a 9-0 run to take a 36-31 lead into the locker room. Clark already has 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and the Hawkeyes are shooting 45% (13-of-29) from the field. Kate Martin has eight points and Sydney Affolter has seven off the bench. 

For the Huskers, 6-foot-3 center Alexis Markowski already has eight points and eight rebounds. (She is one of only two Big Ten players averaging a double-double this season.)

Is Caitlin Clark a senior? 

Yes, Clark is a senior … but she could come back next year and be a super senior if she wants. 

Though she’s projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft, she could return to Iowa City next season. Because Clark was a freshman in the 2020-21 season, she has a COVID year (basically, that season didn’t count toward anyone’s eligibility).  

4:29 2Q: Iowa 22, Nebraska 19

After a couple more scores from Clark — including a tough drive and finish — she’s already got seven points and five rebounds. It’s just crazy how  quickly she can stuff a stat sheet. 

Meanwhile, Nebraska has turned the ball over four times in the last 3:21. Not the way to upset Iowa. 

End of 1st quarter: Iowa 14, Nebraska 11

Back-to-back baskets by Jaz Shelley, Nebraska’s best all-around player, late in the quarter has helped Nebraska get going, and the Huskers only trail by three to start the second period. 

Clark picked up a foul in the first quarter, and spent the last couple minutes on the bench, but buckets from both Molly Davis and Gabby Marshall, Clark’s backcourt partners, helped Iowa maintain its lead. With Clark back on the floor to start the second quarter, don’t be surprised if there’s an offensive explosion. 

4:54 1Q: Iowa 9, Nebraska 0

Not exactly the start you want if you’re the Cornhuskers. 

Nebraska missed its first eight shots from the field, allowing Iowa to jump out to a 9-0 run. And Clark only has three points — but she’s also already got four rebounds and two assists. 

Iowa is so tough in transition, especially when Clark is leading the break. For as terrific a scorer as she is, Clark is easily the best passer in college basketball, a skill that’s often overlooked. 

How tall is Caitlin Clark? 

Clark, a senior, is 6-foot. Big guards have become more common in women’s basketball the last decade or so, and Clark’s size absolutely helps her because she’s able to see over defenders on the break and helps her get vertical separation when she goes up for a shot. 

Also of note: Clark, who’s pretty thin, worked hard last summer to put on eight pounds of muscle and that has made a huge difference in her game, particularly when she drives to the rim. 

Iowa vs. Nebraska: Time, TV for Hawkeyes-Cornhuskers

The women’s college basketball game between the No. 5 Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. ET in Iowa City, airing on Big Ten Network.

Clark-mania: A look at how much Caitlin Clark fans travel and spend to watch the Iowa star

By now you’ve probably heard that Iowa All-American Caitlin Clark, the reigning national player of the year, has a tendency to sell out any arena she plays in. But for a closer look at #Clarkonomics — as ESPN analyst Debbie Antonelli has termed it — USA TODAY reporter Jim Sergent worked up a graphic look at just how much Iowa fans will spend and how far they’ll travel to see Clark in person. The numbers are telling, to say the least.

Iowa looks to bounce back after loss to Ohio State

IOWA CITY — De facto bye weeks inside the grueling Big Ten season are all about timing and what precedes them. For No. 5 Iowa women’s basketball, five days in between games was a welcomed reset following a hectic weekend.

‘The mood of the team is actually pretty good,’ Hawkeyes coach Lisa Bluder said Friday. ‘They’re very excited to get out on the floor again. We had a couple days off, which was really kind of nice with the start of the new (semester).

‘Sometimes I don’t really like a bye week after a loss because you’ve got to sit on it for so long. But I think when you have time to sit on it too, you process it a little bit more and don’t just move on right away from it.’

There was a lot to process after Sunday’s 100-92 overtime loss to then-No. 15 Ohio State, which marked the Hawkeyes’ first stumble in two months and first road defeat of the season. Then came the avalanche of distractions following Caitlin Clark’s postgame collision with a Buckeyes fan and additional social-media criticism the Hawkeyes (18-2, 7-1 Big Ten Conference) had to endure.

Easy to see why a break was beneficial.

– Dargan Southard, Des Moines Register

Caitlin Clark stats

Points shy of breaking Kelsey Plum’s women’s scoring record: 177
Points shy of breaking Pete Maravich’s all-time record: 317
2023-24 stats: 31.7 points per game, 7 rebounds, 7.7 assists

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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