Caitlin Clark leads Iowa women’s basketball to important win over Nebraska

It wasn’t always pretty for the Hawkeyes, but the team rallied late to notch a season sweep over the Cornhuskers.


Katie Goodale/The Daily Iowan

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) goes for the basket during the Iowa women’s basketball game v. Nebraska in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on March 6, 2021. Iowa defeated Nebraska with a score of 83-75 .

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

It was senior night for the Iowa women’s basketball team, but once again it was Iowa’s youth that stole the headlines as Iowa came from behind to beat Nebraska, 83-75. 

Clark finished with 35 points, eight rebounds, and four assists, with much of her scoring coming in the second half of play. 

“I never doubt Caitlin,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “If she has a bad first or second quarter I know she’s going to bounce back. She’s a shooter. She’s a kid that it’s not going to affect her that much because she’s got great confidence.” 

In the first half, Clark scored just ten of her 35 points and shot under 50 percent from deep. But she was extraordinary in the second half as she managed to stay efficient while taking some incredible shots.

With the Hawkeyes down by one point early in the fourth quarter, the game was hanging in the balance. Kate Martin stayed tough to make an impressive offensive rebound and found Clark open from three, who drained the shot and gave Iowa the lead.

After the shot, Iowa held its lead the rest of the game. 

Things did get tight again with Nebraska managing to build up some momentum with under two minutes left in the game.

Clark was not done yet though, as the West Des Moines native caught a pass from McKenna Warnock and drilled a three all the way from the Tigerhawk logo at midcourt to ice the game. 

“Caitlin continues to be Caitlin,” Bluder said. “And that three she made at the end of the game was just a dagger. She continues to just be spectacular on the offensive end.”

RELATED: Rapid Recap: Iowa women’s basketball defeats Nebraska in final regular-season game

Clark’s performance was somewhat of a microcosm of the team’s overall performance. Iowa started off slow on both ends of the court, with Nebraska leading for much of the first half.  The Cornhuskers outshot the Hawkeyes and held bigs Monika Czinano and Sharon Goodman to just four points between the two of them. 

The Hawkeyes managed to bring more energy in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter to pull away and secure the sixth seed in the Big Ten Tournament. 

“It really came down to energy on defense, and that’s something we’ve been trying to express the importance of all season,” senior guard Alexis Sevillian said. 

Although neither of the two seniors — Sevillian and Zion Sanders — saw action on their senior night, they were important in keeping the locker room composed while down at the half. Iowa has been down many times at the half this season, but the captains have done well to keep the locker room calm in those times. 

“We just had to stay calm and know that we were fine and were not defeated and not play defeated,” sophomore guard Gabbie Marshall said. 

With the win, Iowa finishes the regular season with a 15-8 overall record and 11-8 record in conference.

The Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is next for Iowa as it faces 11th-seed Purdue Wednesday night in the second round.