Iowa rips No. 14 Hoosiers

IOWA CITY (AP) — Caitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes fed off a crowd of more than 13,000 who showed up Saturday night when travel wasn’t recommended throughout most of the state because of blizzard-like conditions.

Clark had 30 points and 11 assists before a national audience on Fox, and Molly Davis added 18 points as No. 3 Iowa took sole possession of the Big Ten Conference lead with an 84-57 win over No. 14 Indiana.

Iowa (17-1, 6-0 Big Ten) extended its winning streak to 14 games while snapping the 13-game winning streak of the Hoosiers (14-2, 5-1).

Clark, the nation’s leading scorer at 31 points per game, didn’t need any last-second shots like the buzzer-beating 3-pointer that defeated the Hoosiers in last year’s regular-season finale. Instead, she shook off a slow start to record her 52nd career double-double.

Clark finished 10 of 21 from the field, 6 of 16 on 3-pointers, on a night when the Hawkeyes took charge of the conference race.

“I do know, she is almost at her best in the big moments,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “Really, she is.”

It was just another game, Clark said.

“You know, I think I’ve been through enough games in my career where there’s all these wonderful highs but there’s also lows too, and that’s just competitive sport,” Clark said. “That’s just basketball.”

Clark missed her first six 3-point attempts, but opened the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers to give Iowa a 25-19 lead.

Clark picked up her second foul with 4:49 left in the second quarter with Iowa up 28-26, and sat for 2 1/2 minutes. But Davis stepped up with seven points and an assist while Clark was out as the Hawkeyes extended their lead as much as seven points. Clark returned to finish the half, and her 3-pointer with three seconds left gave Iowa a 43-37 halftime lead and ignited the crowd in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa then opened the third quarter with an 11-2 run, started by a Clark layup eight seconds into the quarter and capped by a two-possession sequence in which Clark had a 3-pointer and an assist on Gabbie Marshall’s 3-pointer.

“We didn’t make a lot of defensive adjustments, actually,” Bluder said. “I know we talked about a couple of offensive things we wanted to do, including that play right out of the chute. (Clark) gets that layup and that really gave us momentum.”

Indiana coach Teri Moren said her team had too many miscues, finishing with 15.

“We were just turning the ball over too much (in the first half), but we were still in the game,” Moren said. “And then we give Caitlin that backdoor layup and all of the sudden we’re down (eight points), and from there it just got out of control.”

Indiana was held to just 20 second-half points, including nine in the fourth quarter. The Hoosiers had just seven field goals in the half.

“The second half, I thought, was beautiful,” Bluder said. “I thought our players played really well together, offensively and defensively.”