Iowa tops LSU behind Caitlin Clark's 41 points

LSU guard Hailey Van Lith (11) tries to strip the ball from Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) during the second quarter of an Elite Eight round college basketball game during the NCAA Tournament, Monday, April 1, 2024, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

By The Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Caitlin Clark made nine 3-pointers and finished with 41 points and 12 assists as Iowa knocked defending national champion LSU out of the women’s NCAA Tournament with a 94-87 victory on Monday night, advancing the Hawkeyes to their second straight Final Four.

Top-seeded Iowa (33-4) will play either UConn or Southern California in the national semifinals Friday night in Cleveland.

Monday’s highly anticipated matchup was a rematch of last year’s national championship game won by LSU, which drew a record 9.9 million viewers. Both teams wished that this meeting had come later in the tournament instead of with a Final Four berth at stake, but that was out of their control.

Clark, who also scored 41 points in the regional finals last year, and Angel Reese of LSU put on a memorable show for the sold-out crowd and the millions watching.

Flau’jae Johnson scored 23 points for No. 3 seed LSU (31-6), which fell short of becoming the first repeat champion since UConn in 2016. Reese finished with 17 points and 20 rebounds before fouling out with 1:45 left.



PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — After being a spectator a year ago, Paige Bueckers is headed back to the Final Four after scoring 28 points and lifting UConn to a win over Southern California in the women’s NCAA Tournament.

Bueckers outdueled fabulous USC freshman All-American JuJu Watkins, sparking a decisive run over the final five minutes that sent third-seeded UConn (33-5) to its 23rd national semifinal, the most of any school. Leading 65-64, the Huskies scored 11 straight points, including seven from Bueckers and a three-point play from Aaliyah Edwards to finally put away the top-seeded Trojans (29-6).

Edwards finished with 24 points, and this Final Four trip will rank as one of the most unlikely in coach Geno Auriemma’s 39-year tenure. Beset by injuries that left them with only eight healthy players — including the loss of two starters — the Huskies managed minutes, fouls and exhaustion to win their regional final a year after seeing a string of 14 straight Final Four appearances snapped.

Watkins concluded her freshman year by scoring 29 points, but UConn made it difficult for her to get clean looks at the rim with regular double-teams and constant switching of defenders. Watkins took about 15 minutes to score the eight points needed to move past former San Diego State star Tina Hutchinson for the most by a freshman in NCAA history. Watkins’ 3-pointer at the top of the key midway through the second quarter gave her the record.