Caitlin Clark's 40-point triple-double helps propel Iowa to first Final Four in three decades
The reigning Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year, Iowa Hawkeyes junior guard Caitlin Clark was named Player of the Year on Wednesday, beating out fellow finalists such as 2022 winner Aliyah Boston(South Carolina), Maddy Siegrist (Villanova), and Elizabeth Kitley(Virginia Tech).
Clark’s averages this season were mystical, averaging 27.3 points, 8.6 assists, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 47.4% from the field and 39.2% from 3-point distance. She was third in the nation in scoring while also leading in total assists this season as well as being named a unanimous selection to the AP All-American First-Team for the second consecutive season.
Clark showed why she was named Player of the year by making history on Sunday night against the Louisville Cardinals by recording the first 40-point triple-double in NCAA tournament history, men or women in a 97-83 victory. This is no surprise to me, as I’ve been high on Clark’s talent since last year when I first started watching her https://www.djssportsshow.com/post/will-caitlin-clark-be-the-stephen-curry-of-women-s-basketball as I think she will be the Stephen Curry of Women’s Basketball if all goes right in her career.
Clark displayed absolute dominance against the Cardinals by finishing with 41 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists to help lead the Hawkeyes to their first Final Four appearance in three decades. The Cardinals started off gunning by jumping out to an 8-0 start, which would be the Hawkeyes' largest deficit throughout the game, but Clark quickly put her stamp on the game by scoring 15 of her 41 points in the opening period of the game and scoring or assisting on all 25 Hawkeye first-quarter points– which helped give the Hawkeyes a 4-point lead at the break.
Louisville would take a 5-point lead at the half, with Clark putting her imprint all over the game by accounting for 42 of the 48 Hawkeyes’ points in the first half.
Clark was jaw-dropping throughout the game from hitting stepback threes,off-the-dribble pull-ups, off the catch, off the jab, punishing the poor Louisville helpless defenders who had no defensive answer for the flamethrowing Hawkeye.
She accounted for 70 of Iowa’s 97 points in the best statistical individual performance in NCAA tournament history. Clark record her 17th double-double this season as well as her fifth triple-double this season (led the nation), and 11th triple-double of her career, which ranks second all-time to former Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu (27).
The historic feats don’t end there though, as the gunslinging Hawkeye also became the first ever Division I player, man or woman, to record at least 900 points and 300 assists in a single season.
The Hawkeyes will now play No.1 South Carolina at 9 P.M. Eastern on Friday on ESPN who went undefeated this season at 35-0 behind the play of another Player of the Year candidate in Aliyah Boston who’s elite in her own right and will have a chip on her back after Clark winning the Player of the year over her.
Is Caitlin Clark the next game-changer for Women's Basketball?
- A defiant yes!
- Not sure yet, but I'm getting there