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Caitlin Clark nets near triple-double for Iowa to start season

Iowa's Caitlin Clark started the season with 28 points and 10 assists against Fairleigh Dickinson on Nov. 6. (Joseph Cress/USA TODAY NETWORK)

College basketball is back, and so is Caitlin Clark.

Clark netted a near triple-double in Iowa’s season opener Monday, picking up right where she left off with 28 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds in the 102-46 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. Those 28 points included a 17-point first quarter that signified right off the bat that one of college basketball’s superstars is back.

Despite playing just 24 minutes, Clark finished the first game of her senior season with the 44th double-double of her career — and zero turnovers.

“Our transition game really early was good,” Clark said. “As a team, only seven turnovers on 28 assists is really good. That’s kind of what we pride ourselves on, lots of assists and low turnover numbers. Sometimes early in the year, those (turnover) numbers can be a little high.”

While Clark is the one headlining Player of the Year watchlists, sophomore Hannah Stuelke was just as good for the Hawkeyes, with 22 points and 9 rebounds on 9-for-10 shooting. It was the first start of her career after she was named the Big Ten’s Sixth Player of the Year last season as a freshman.

“I’ve watched them on tape a lot, and I’ve known Lisa for a long time,” Fairleigh Dickinson coach Stephanie Gaitley said. “Once you’re in person and you see it, you see the maturity. Obviously Caitlin is a generational talent. But everyone on that team makes everyone else better.”