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Caitlin Clark Helps Propel Iowa Over Defending Champion LSU Tigers to Advance to Final Four

Updated: Apr 13

Caitlin Clark celebrating after scoring 41 points to help the Hawkeyes defeat LSU 94-87

Greg Flume/Getty Images

It was the most watched game in Women’s College Basketball History with 12.3 million viewers, peaking at 16 million acc between the two heavyweights and a rematch of last years National Championship game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and defending champion LSU Tigers.

The matchup featured two of the top scoring teams in women’s college basketball with the Hawkeyes averaging 91.9 points and Tigers 85.9 per game. Each teams featured star that were the main headline heading into the game were Hawkeyes sharpshooting supernova Caitlin Clark and the Tigers double-double machine Angel Reese.

Everyone remembers last years antics between the two stars with Clark doing the infamous John Cena “You Can’t See Me” gesture with her hand against Louisville and Reese giving it back to the Hawkeyes star, as well as pointing to her ring finger as the Tigers had the title in their lap in last years title game.

That rivalry helped propel the anticipation of the most watched game for women’s college basketball ever… It didn’t disappoint.

The nation's leading scorer [Clark] showed why she’s the all-time scoring leader in Division I basketball history attacking the Tigers defense right out the gate from drilling threes fading away, to finding her teammates such as Kate Martin and Sydney Affolter who combined for 37 points.

Is Caitlin Clark the Greatest Women's College Player Of All Time?

  • Yes!

  • If she wins the chip

  • No, but she's in the convo

The Hawkeyes started off scoring hot, converting on their first 10-of-14 shots from the field in the first quarter. Despite the Hawkeyes' onslaught, the Tigers stayed within reach due to Mikaylah Williams and Anneesah Morrow who combined for 15 of the Tigers' first 19 points.

Reese also was aggressive and showed why she’s the emotional leader of the team being aggressive early with 10 points, five rebounds, and two assists along with stellar defense in the first.

The Tigers would go on a 10-0 run after being down 26-21, with Clark’s unforced errors early on and being physical with the smaller Hawkeyes team.

It was a slugfest back and forth between the two heavyweights as the game progressed with a trip to the Final Four in Cleveland, Ohio on the line. Reese was a two-way presence to be reckoned with throughout the whole game but would reaggravate her right ankle once again in the second quarter somewhat limiting her effectiveness as the game went.

Both teams shot well in the first half with the Tigers shooting 46% from the field and the Hawkeyes 50%. The Tigers tried everything they could to guard Clark in the pick-and-roll, but every time they had a lapse and went under the screen she made them pay.

 Clark seized the moment like all greats do during big games of their careers. She opened the second half possessed hitting three three-pointers in less than three minutes from the parking lot that made even Reese and Hailey Van Lith (Clark's primary defender all game) shrug their shoulders as they looked helpless in trying to contain Clark.

The second half started off slower-paced than the first, but that didn’t stop the Hawkeyes from continuing to get into their offense. The Tigers did struggle with some foul trouble with Reese (who eventually fouled out) and their star guard Flau’jae Johnson who had four.

Every time it seemed the Tigers were on a little run to get back and take the lead potentially, Clark displayed why she’s so heralded as she responded with a dagger three, finishing at the rim, or drawing the defense in and creating a shot for a teammate every time.

Some may question why LSU Tiger head coach Kim Mulkey didn’t make adjustments early on to put Johnson, who’s more athletic, taller, and stronger than Van Lith who was playing ill and is shorter on Clark.

It didn’t matter who was on her as Clark demoralized the Tigers defense for 41 points on 13-of-29 from the field, 9-of-20 from three to go along with 12 assists, seven rebounds, two steals, and a block.

She broke the NCAA record for most single-game threes (9), career field goals made (1,263), and became the sixth player in NCAA women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career assists and now ranks third with 1,120 after her magical Monday performance.

On the other side, Reese had a phenomenal showing with 17-20-4 along with two steals and three blocks. Johnson also finished with 23 and Williams and Morrow combined for 32.

Despise all that, Clark was simply too much for the Tigers defense she gave headaches to all evening with her constant movement without the basketball and marksmanship.

College basketball’s all-time leading scorer helps the Hawayes advance to the FInal Four for the second consecutive season as they now prepare to play against another phenom in UConn Huskies Paige Bueckers who’s also having a resurgence this torunament as well.

That game is set to begin Friday 9:30 p.m. eastern time.

May the best team win.


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