Hawkeyes Head Into Championship After 71-69 Win Over UConn – Voice Of Muscatine


Hawkeye fans were plentiful after an eight hour drive from Carver Hawkeye Arena to see the Semi Final Round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in Cleveland. The arena was of course sold out with 18, 284 fans. The Hawkeyes took on the UConn Huskies. Clark was the first to score with a very early lead in the game but the Hawkeye excitement was short lived as UConn made it known that they came to play. The score was tied 5-5 when UConn began to pull away. UConn put up a tough defense against Clark holding her to just 2 points in the first quarter. The Huskies came out shooting 100% for the first five minutes putting their lead at 7-13. Stuelke was the leading scorer in the first quarter with 6 points in the paint while Martin and Feuerbach hit one three each. It was a tough opening quarter for the Hawks putting them down by five at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter was another hard-fought battle between the Hawkeyes and the Huskies with the themes from the first quarter repeating themselves again. Sloppy passes and turnovers were prevalent from the Hawks having 12 turnovers in the first half while UConn had 7. Iowa was also having trouble getting the buckets to fall. Clark made a few moves down low putting in a pair of layups but continued to strike out from the three-point line putting her 0 for 6 for the half from beyond the arc. On the plus side for the Hawks Sydney Affolter started showing signs of life scoring six points in the second quarter. The first half ended 26-32 Huskies. Closer than the 12 point UConn lead halfway through the second quarter but far short of fan expectations for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa came to play in the third quarter starting strong with a steal and a 3 pointer by Marshall. Shortly thereafter Clark broke her three-point drought, finally hitting on her seventh attempt much to the delight of the crowd. Martin also proved to be a player in the third but appeared injured late in the third quarter running directly to the locker room following a fall. The Hawkeyes managed to tie it up at 36-36 and continued to trade baskets with UConn fighting for every possession and point making for a tense third quarter. The player of the game this far was Hannah Stuelke, the leading scorer with a whopping 19 points at the end of the third followed by Clark with 13. More importantly Iowa started to build some momentum, stopped the turnovers (zero in the third) and began to hit a decent percentage from the three-point line. At the end of the third the score was 51-51 with no clear winner in sight.

The fourth quarter was a nailbiter with Clark coming out strong with a three, a block, and another assist to Steulke. Martin came up with some hard fought points in the paint at critical times. Marshall hit a long two that was originally called as a three. All the excitement was in the last few minutes as UConn got the score back close to 70-69 Iowa (after Iowa had a solid lead earlier in the quarter). Clark was able to burn the clock down to around ten seconds, but the Hawkeyes turned the ball over with 10.8 left on the clock. The most replayed play of the game will, no doubt, be an offensive foul call against UConn for a moving screen against Iowa’s Marshall with three seconds left and the Huskies down by one. With three seconds left Clark ended up at the line hitting one and Hawkeyes came up with the rebound on the second. Clark was left to inbound the ball with 1.1 seconds and no time outs. Clark saw Bueckers with her back to her and bounced the ball off her back and out of bounds dropping the clock to 0.1 seconds. Hawks inbounded and threw up the ball for a win. The final score was 71-69 Iowa and the Hawks celebrated a narrow win.

The Hawkeyes will be going to the Championship game for the second year in a row which is also the second time in program history. They also overcame the largest point deficit they have had all season (12). They will face undefeated South Carolina Sunday afternoon with broadcast on ABC.

Final Four coverage brought to you by HNI Corporation, Al Seasons Glass, Muscatine Lumber and Sedona Staffing.

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