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Caitlin Clark pours on points for Iowa after injury scare

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark runs up court during a game against Belmont on Sunday. (Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Caitlin Clark is fine.

The Iowa women’s basketball team, on the other hand, is still attempting to find its groove.

Clark had 33 points in the team’s 73-62 win over Belmont, the lone Iowa player to score in double digits, just days after she appeared to injure her ankle in an upset loss. There were major questions about her status on Sunday, but Clark opted to push through what she described as “not a lot of pain.”

“We have some of the best medical facilities in the country here,” Clark said after the game. “Talked to a doctor and was pretty fine. Obviously the normal swelling and bruising — but not a lot of pain — so I knew I was going to be able to go today. Which was good because I definitely did not want to sit out.”

She also added five assists, three rebounds and two steals – a complete performance that helped the Hawkeyes as they again struggled offensively.

The offense was puzzled by Belmont’s slow-it-down style late into the game. Iowa held just a three-point lead in the final minute of the third quarter. Clark put them ahead for good, scoring 15 consecutive Iowa points. She had 24 of her 33 points in the second half.

Iowa’s defense was stout, with Monika Czinano putting up a game-high 10 rebounds, including nine defensive rebounds. In total the team had 32 defensive rebounds to outpace Belmont’s 26. They held the Bruins scoreless over the final 5:40 in the first half after the opposing team pulled even at 25-25.

“One through five, we did such a good job of finding our player and boxing out,” Czinano said. “Especially in the zone, we did a really nice job. That’s been a big focal point for us.”

Iowa next will travel to Oregon for the Phil Knight Tournament, where they’ll face off against Oregon State on Friday. And next week brings a ranked matchup against NC State.