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Caitlin Clark leads Iowa past Michigan for share of Big Ten title


Caitlin Clark put on a show in Iowa City to lead No. 21 Iowa past No. 6 Michigan, 104-80, and to a share of the Big Ten regular season title.

The Hawkeyes’ victory Sunday denied Michigan its first-ever Big Ten regular-season championship. Iowa finished the regular season in a tie for the Big Ten title with Ohio State, who defeated Michigan State 61-55 on Sunday to earn the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament beginning Wednesday.

Clark led the Hawkeyes with 38 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the field and 8-of-11 from 3-point range. The sophomore guard also added 11 assists, six rebounds and three steals for her 14th double-double of the season.

Clark was helped by Monika Czinano, who notched 19 points, and Gabbie Marshall, who drained three shots from deep to finish with 14 points.

Michigan started strong, jumping out to an 11-point lead in the first quarter before Iowa’s offense started finding its form. The Hawkeyes quickly erased the Wolverines’ advantage in the second quarter, outscoring them 33-14. Clark sank four of her seven 3-point attempts for 20 points in the first half, propelling Iowa to a 53-39 lead at the break.

Michigan began to cut into Iowa’s lead in the third, but Clark led the Hawkeyes on a 9-0 run to finish the quarter, extending their lead to 76-59. Iowa continued to pour it on in the fourth despite four Michigan players finishing the game in double-digit scoring.

Iowa shot 59.7 percent from the field on Sunday, compared to Michigan’s 40 percent, and sank a season-high 16 three-pointers. For the third time this season, the Hawkeyes surpassed the 100-point mark.

The Big Ten trophy is Iowa’s first in 12 years, securing the team a No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament. Michigan fell to the third seed with the loss.