all scores

Caitlin Clark’s strong second half propels Iowa to NCAA Sweet 16

Iowa guard Kate Martin hugs Caitlin Clark after the Hawkeyes' second-round win against Georgia. (Margaret Kispert/USA TODAY NETWORK)

It was a battle, but No. 2 Iowa overcame a tough test from No. 10 Georgia to advance to the Sweet 16 of the 2023 NCAA women’s basketball tournament. Despite being held scoreless for 13 minutes in the first half, Hawkeyes star Caitlin Clark recorded 22 points and 12 assists in the 74-66 win. The 6-0 junior either scored or assisted on 30 of Iowa’s 33 second-half points.

“I really did not want to let this team lose again in this round,” Clark said post-game, referring to Iowa’s 2022 loss to Creighton in the round of 32. “I knew I needed to step up and make plays for this team.”

Even so, it was an “off” game for Clark, who has averaged 27 points per game this season. Her Iowa teammates helped closed the gap, with Monika Czinano recording 20 points, Gabbie Marshall adding 15 points and McKenna Warnock notching 14 points. Iowa will travel to the Seattle Regional Semifinal and face the winner of Colorado/Duke.

“Any time you are one of 16 teams that get to keep playing basketball, it’s pretty special,” Clark said. “It wasn’t a huge party or celebration in the locker room. This wasn’t our goal. It’s one of the steps to reaching our goal.but it’s not the be-all end-all to us. This is the first weekend and it’s done with. And now we have the second weekend. And we hope there’s a third weekend too.”