Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa women's basketball rallies from down 17 in the 4th to stun Iowa State

Caitlin Clark's 3-pointer with 0:24 left caps a memorable comeback

IOWA CITY — Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

Freshman Caitlin Clark triggered an unlikely, unforgettable fourth-quarter comeback, capping it with a go-ahead 3-pointer with 24 seconds remaining. That pushed Iowa past Iowa State, 82-80, in a women’s basketball thriller Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes trailed by 18 points early in the third quarter, and were staring at a 73-56 deficit heading to the fourth quarter.

Then, well, all hell broke loose. And it was heavenly for the Hawkeyes (4-0).

“It was like a snowball thing,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “It kept getting bigger and bigger, and you could see our confidence growing.”

Still down 75-58 with nine minutes to go, the Hawkeyes started the road back with a 3-pointer from Clark. Then another. And another.

Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes’ defense, which didn’t show much resistance for three quarters, finally dug in.

“Every time we got a stop, it was an adrenaline rush,” Iowa’s Monika Czinano said. “Then I looked up at the scoreboard, and we were only down three, I’m like, ‘Oh, we’re in this. Oh, let’s go.”

They kept going.

At 75-72, Clark finally missed a 3-pointer, but Kate Martin extended the possession with a hustle rebound, and eventually was rewarded at the end of the possession with a trey of her own to tie it with 3:35 left.

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Iowa State’s Ashley Joens, who finished with a game-high 35 points answered with a bank 3-pointer to put Iowa State (2-3) in front, 78-75.

McKenna Warnock scored to get the Hawkeyes back within one, then a drive by Clark gave Iowa its first lead of the game, 79-78, with 1:30 to go.

Joens made two free throws to put the Cyclones back in front with 0:53 left, setting up Clark’s final dagger, well behind the arc, from the top of the key.

“I’m just happy it went in,” said Clark, who scored a career-high 34. “I was super confident. If you’re going to take that shot, you’d better be confident, and I didn’t think twice.”

ISU had a final opportunity. On an inbounds play with 3.3 seconds left, Joens drove to the hoop, but her shot went off the bottom of the rim. It would have been late anyway.

“They guarded it pretty well,” Joens said. “It just didn’t go the way we wanted it to go.”

The final fourth-quarter tally: Iowa 26, Iowa State 7. The Hawkeyes hit 10 of 17 shots in the final 10 minutes; ISU was 2 of 10.

“Obviously, we didn’t make many shots at the end,” ISU Coach Bill Fennelly said. “They were great in the fourth quarter, and we were anything but.”

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The Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones for the fifth straight year and extended their homecourt winning streak to 39.

It was stunning. Absolutely stunning.

“We led for what? A minute?” Bluder said. “But we picked the right time.”

Czinano added 16 points, Warnock 14 for the Hawkeyes, who wrapped up a mythical state championship.

For Iowa State, Joens was joined in double figures by Kristin Scott and Lexi Donarski, who tallied 12 apiece.

The Hawkeyes resume Big Ten play at noon Saturday at Michigan State. Iowa State hosts North Dakota State, noon Saturday.

IOWA 82, IOWA STATE 80

At Iowa City

IOWA STATE (80): Kristin Scott 5-11 1-1 12, Kylie Feuerbach 4-7 0-0 9, Emily Ryan 2-7 2-3 7, Lexi Donarski 4-8 1-2 12, Ashley Joens 12-25 6-7 35, Madison Wise 0-1 0-0 0, Rae Johnson 1-3 0-0 3, Morgan Kane 0-1 0-0 0, Aubrey Joens 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 29-66 10-13 80.

IOWA (82): McKenna Warnock 5-11 1-2 14, Monika Czinano 7-9 2-2 16, Kate Martin 3-7 0-0 8, Caitlin Clark 11-23 7-8 34, Gabbie Marshall 2-5 0-0 6, Alexis Sevillian 1-2 0-0 2, Sharon Goodman 1-2 0-0 2, Lauren Jensen 0-1 0-0 0, Logan Cook 0-0 0-0 0, Megan Meyer 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-60 10-12 82.

Halftime: ISU 49, Iowa 35. 3-point goals: ISU 12-36 (Scott 1-7, Feuerbach 1-3, Ryan 1-5, Donarski 3-5, Ashley Joens 5-11, Wise 0-1, Johnson 1-3, Aubrey Joens 0-1), Iowa 12-30 (Warnock 3-7, Martin 2-4, Clark 5-13, Marshall 2-4, Sevillian 0-1, Jensen 0-1). Team fouls: ISU 13, Iowa 16. Fouled out: Donarski. Rebounds: ISU 37 (Ashley Joens 13), Iowa 31 (Warnock, Clark 7). Assists: ISU 14 (Ryan 5), Iowa 18 (Clark 6). Steals: ISU 6 (Scott, Wise 2), Iowa 9 (four with 2). Turnovers: ISU 18, Iowa 16.

Attendance: 326.

Comments: (x19) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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