Caitlin Clark’s star power went to another level as she pumped in 41 points as part of a triple-double to lead No. 2-seeded Iowa back to the Final Four for the first time in 30 years as the Hawkeyes ran past fifth-seeded Louisville 97-83 in the Seattle 4 Region final Sunday night.
Clark also delivered a game-high 12 assists and had a team-high 10 rebounds.
Clark, a junior guard, had 33 points through the third quarter and then hit a 3-pointer in the opening minute of the fourth. The Hawkeyes drained 16 shots from 3-point range, including Clark’s 8-for-14 effort. She was 11-for-19 from the field and 11-for-13 on free throws.
McKenna Warnock added 17 points and Gabbie Marshall finished with 14 points for Iowa (30-6), which set the single-season team record for wins.
Iowa, which had its only other Final Four berth in 1993, meets the winner of Monday night’s meeting between No. 1 South Carolina and No. 2 Maryland in Friday night’s Final Four semifinals in Dallas.
Louisville (26-12) was aiming to reach back-to-back Final Fours for the first time in program history and for the fifth time overall. The Cardinals played in an Elite Eight game for the fifth consecutive postseason.
Hailey Van Lith racked up 27 points, Olivia Cochran compiled 20 points and 14 rebounds, Chrislyn Carr supplied 11 points and Mykasa Robinson had 10 points for the Cardinals.
Louisville cut a 48-43 halftime deficit to one before the Hawkeyes rattled off an 11-0 run that included two 3-point baskets from Marshall. Iowa led 78-59 through three quarters.
Iowa ended up shooting 53.7 percent from the field, helping overcome 17 turnovers. The Hawkeyes scored 19 fourth-quarter points after posting 30 in the third quarter.
Louisville scored the game’s first eight points. Iowa didn’t catch up until Clark’s 3-pointer pushed the Hawkeyes to a 20-18 lead with 2:16 left in the opening quarter.
–Field Level Media