Iowa vs. West Virginia score: Caitlin Clark, Hawkeyes survive scare from Mountaineers to advance to Sweet 16



No. 1 seed Iowa survived an upset scare against eight-seeded West Virginia with a 64-54 win in the Round of 32. The Hawkeyes are heading to the Sweet 16 again, a year after making a run all the way to the championship game.

“This team was never flustered and I think that speaks to our experience,” Iowa star Caitlin Clark said after the game. 

Clark — the Division I all-time leading scorer — led the way with 32 points. That was her 45th straight game with at least 20 points and the fifth time she’s scored 30+ points in her last six NCAA Tournament games. 

However, despite the dominant stats, neither Clark nor the rest of the Hawkeyes had an easy time against the Mountaineers. Iowa has the top scoring offense in the nation with 92.3 points per contest, but this was the Hawkeyes’ lowest scoring win of the season.

The West Virginia defense is one of the most disruptive in the nation, particularly when it comes to forcing turnovers, and the Mountaineers gave the Hawkeyes everything they could handle. Iowa had nine turnovers in the first two quarters, which coach Lisa Bluder said she would address with the Hawkeyes at halftime.

The Hawkeyes did seem to find a better rhythm after the break and opened up a 12-point lead in the third quarter. However, they never fully took control of the game and West Virginia started creeping in. 

Iowa was scoreless for a significant part of the fourth quarter and, with 5:18 remaining in the game, Jayla Hemingway hit the game-tying 3-pointer for West Virginia. This is when the entire arena began sweating because the Mountaineers had not managed to even the score since the first 10 minutes of play. 

Gabbie Marshall did not score a single point for Iowa, but she came up with a big block when the score was tied 52-52 with just over two minutes remaining. Iowa guard Sydney Affolter got the defensive rebound and then put her team on top again with a layup plus the foul. 

That’s when Iowa seemed to regain the momentum, and eventually the Hawkeyes went on an 8-0 run late that helped them get to a comfortable spot again. 

With this win, Clark and the rest of the seniors say goodbye to Carver-Hawkeye Arena but keep on dancing. Iowa will be taking on No. 5 seed Colorado in the Sweet 16 round in Albany, N.Y.





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