116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Rein her in? Not a chance.
“She’s a highly competitive individual, and that’s what makes her great,” Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder said of All-America guard Caitlin Clark during Monday’s press conference at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. “I never want to tame that. She’ll mature, and she’ll grow.
“I will have her back until I’m done doing this.”
Clark had a typical effort — 25 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists — in the Hawkeyes’ 82-61 victory over Northern Iowa on Sunday at the McLeod Center.
She also picked up the first technical foul of her collegiate career.
“No matter what, I’m a super emotional person,” Clark said. “That makes me who I am. Anybody who watches me, they know I’m a competitive person.”
Clark is a sophomore, and Sunday’s game was her first on the road in front of fans. She received the technical in the closing moments after hitting a 3-pointer, then gesturing and shouting at the UNI bench.
More than one witness near the McLeod Center floor said that Clark and at least one member of the UNI staff had been verbally sparring at various stages of the game.
“Certain coaches have been known to do that,” Bluder said, not naming names. “I talk to my players a lot from the bench; I don’t talk to opposing players. I think that’s unacceptable.”
Bluder left Clark in the game after the technical.
With UNI in the rearview mirror, the Hawkeyes (3-0) — up a spot to No. 8 in this week’s Associated Press poll — host Southern University (0-2) at 6:30 Wednesday night (BTN+).
“We’ll have the advantage of fresh legs and home court,” Bluder said.
And the Hawkeyes will have a vast advantage in talent.
For the Jaguars, it will be the third stop in a five-game road swing to open the season. They suffered lopsided losses to Texas A&M (92-32) and Marquette (65-40) to open the season.
After their game at Carver, they’ll play at Iowa State and Memphis before their home opener Dec. 7.
Bluder is two victories away from the 800-win plateau. It’s likely that she’ll be at 799 when the Hawkeyes host Drake on Sunday.