Hawkeyes To Play For National Title

The second-ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team dropped top-ranked and unbeaten South Carolina, 77-73, on Friday in front of 19,288 fans at American Airlines Center to advance to its first NCAA National Championship game in school history.

It was the program’s first win over a top-ranked opponent in program history.

Consensus National Player of the Year Caitlin Clark had 41 points, eight assists, and six rebounds to become the first player in NCAA Tournament history to have back-to-back 40-point games. She is the second player to score 40 or more point in an NCAA Women’s Final Four game.

The Gamecocks scored six quick points at the start of the second, but Clark knocked down a jumper and a three to maintain the advantage. Iowa was able to hold a one-point lead heading into half (38-37).

The Hawkeyes regrouped and started the third on an 8-0 surge in the beginning to go up nine, their largest lead of the game. Addison O’Grady had big minutes, recording four points and a block in three minutes of play. South Carolina inched its way back to within five, but a big three from McKenna Warnock gave Iowa more breathing room. A last-second bucket from Czinano put the Hawkeyes up by four, going into the final 10 with a 59-55 lead.

It was all Clark the fourth quarter, netting 16 of Iowa’s final 18 points. It went back-and-forth between the two, but a rebound from Warnock in the last 14 seconds solidified the win to advance to the title game.

Iowa (31-6) will face 3-Seed LSU (33-2) on Sunday inside American Airlines Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.