Caitlin Clark put on a show with 41 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to help No. 2 seed Iowa beat fifth-seeded Louisville 97-83 on Sunday and send the Hawkeyes to their first women’s Final Four in 30 years.
The unanimous first-team All-American was as dominant as she’s been all season in getting the Hawkeyes to Dallas for the women’s NCAA tournament national semifinals on Friday night. The Seattle 4 Region champion will face the winner of the Greenville 1 region that has South Carolina playing Maryland on Monday night.
Clark had the 11th triple-double of her career and the 19th in NCAA tournament history. She had the first 30- and 40-point triple-double in March Madness history.
Trailing by five at the half, Louisville cut its deficit to 48-47 before Clark and the Hawkeyes scored the next 11 points as part of a 17-6 run to blow the game open. That brought most of the pro-Iowa crowd of nearly 12,000 fans to their feet.
Louisville was down 22 with just under 6 minutes left before going on a 13-1 run to get within 86-76 with 2:10 left. The Cardinals could get no closer.
Clark left the game with 22.7 seconds left and hugged coach Lisa Bluder.
Hailey Van Lith scored 27 points and Olivia Cochran had 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead Louisville (26-12).
Reese, Morris lead LSU past Miami
Angel Reese had 18 rebounds and LSU returned to the women’s Final Four for the first time in 15 years by beating Miami 54-42 on Sunday night, carrying a rapid rise under second-year coach Kim Mulkey straight to the sport’s biggest stage.
Alexis Morris scored 21 points and Reese added 13 for the third-seeded Tigers (32-2), who asserted control of a grinding, defence-first game. LSU’s length caused Miami problems even with Reese — an Associated Press first-team All-American — having a brutal shooting day, and the Tigers offset their offensive hiccups by dominating the glass.
LSU shot 30.2 per cent and went one for 12 from three-point range, including misses on its first nine attempts. But Miami was even worse from three, missing all 15 tries.
Mulkey is in her second season at LSU, bringing a resume with three NCAA titles from her time at Baylor along with some flamboyant sideline looks such as her shimmering silver jacket with white pants for this one. She had cautioned that the Tigers were overachieving when they’re still strengthening a program for the long haul.
Maybe so, but they’re ahead of schedule after pushing their way through the NCAA Tournament’s Greenville 2 Region. The Tigers head to Dallas to face Ohio State or Virginia Tech in Friday’s national semifinals.
When the horn sounded, Mulkey turned to her bench and leaned forward to put her hands on her knees as though in disbelief. Players soon began running to midcourt to celebrate — except for Morris running straight to the scorer’s table and jumping on top of it.
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It was a disappointing conclusion to an incredible run for Miami, and the school fell short of making history twice in one day.
The men’s and women’s teams were each playing Sunday to reach the program’s first Final Four. The men pulled it off, beating Texas in Kansas City, Missouri. That game went final during the first quarter of the women’s game — drawing cheers when the final play was shown on the arena scoreboards.
Miami battled, but couldn’t complete the double.