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IOWA CITY — Molly Davis’ role on the University of Iowa women’s basketball roster is thus:
Backup to Caitlin Clark at point guard. A depth provider at off guard.
And a major insurance policy, just in case.
The Hawkeyes have reached a “just-in-case” juncture.
Clark aggravated a sprained left ankle on the final play of fourth-ranked Iowa’s 84-83 loss at Kansas State on Thursday. According to a Friday email to The Gazette from UI sports information, Clark is “day-to-day, but the plan is a go” on Sunday, when the Hawkeyes (3-1) host Belmont (1-2).
Tipoff is 2 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes’ senior All-America point guard, Clark hurt her ankle about three minutes into the opener against Southern University.
“I just stepped on somebody’s foot and turned my ankle a little bit,” she said at the time. “I’ll be perfectly fine. I’m all good.”
It wasn’t all good Thursday.
Clark appeared to get tangled with a K-State player on the inbounds pass with 3.8 seconds left. She passed to McKenna Warnock, then writhed on the court in pain.
She left the arena without crutches, but with ice and discomfort. Her status for Sunday? We’ll see.
If Clark is a no-go, the most likely scenario is for Davis to start at point guard, creating an all-senior starting lineup.
Davis transferred from Central Michigan last spring.
“We did recruit her as the backup to Caitlin,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said at Media Day in late October. “We told her right up front, this is your No. 1 role, but you're also going to compete for off-guard minutes.
“I've been impressed with how well she plays away from the basketball. She's crafty. She's deceiving. She's a smart basketball player. I think that's going to be an X factor that people haven't figured out with our team yet.”
Davis is logging 24.9 minutes per game (fifth on the team) and is averaging 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds. Through four games, she has 12 assists and 13 turnovers.
Iowa had a seven-point lead on four occasions in the fourth quarter Thursday, but couldn’t close it out.
“We’re not running our offense well,” Bluder said. “We had some untimely turnovers, they scored 22 points off our turnovers. They made us pay.”
A newcomer to the Missouri Valley Conference, Belmont was the preseason MVC favorite. The Bruins took No. 6 Louisville to the wire a week ago, but followed that with a disappointing 80-62 home loss to Middle Tennessee.
Destinee Wells, a 5-foot-6 junior guard, paces the Bruins at 15.0 points per game.