Clark claims Big Ten Freshman of the Year award

Iowa women’s basketball point guard Caitlin Clark was named 2020-21 Big Ten Freshman of the Year Monday evening.


Casey Stone

Caitlin Clark runs the ball down the court during the Iowa Hawkeyes Women’s Basketball season opener again Northern Iowa on Nov. 25, 2020. The Hawkeyes defeated Northern Iowa 96-81.

Chloe Peterson, Sports Reporter

After collecting 13 of 16 Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards this season, Iowa women’s basketball point guard Caitlin Clark was a shoo-in for the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award.

On Monday, the Big Ten Conference officially bestowed the honor upon her.

Clark was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, per a release from the Big Ten Conference. Clark is the sixth Hawkeye to win the award, and the first to do so since Jamie Printy in 2010.

Clark is also a unanimous All-Big Ten Freshman team selection, and a first team All-Big Ten pick, by both coaches and media. Clark is the first freshman in Iowa women’s basketball history to earn team All-Big Ten honors.

In 19 conference games this season, Clark registered double-figure scoring in all but one contest. She averaged 27.7 points and 6.6 assists per game. Nine of Clark’s 11 30-point games came against Big Ten opponents, and she collected 20 points in eight additional games within the Big Ten.

Clark was also a five-time Big Ten Player of the Week in 2020-21 — good for a Big Ten freshman record.

Clark did not win the 2020-21 Big Ten Player of the Year award, however, as Michigan’s Naz Hillmon claimed the honor.

Including Freshman of the Year, Clark won 23 Big Ten awards during the 2020-21 regular season: 13 Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors, five Big Ten Player of the Week honors, and four Big Ten Player of the Week honor roll accolades.

Currently, Clark leads the nation in total points and points per game with 631 and 27.4, respectively. She also tops the country in total 3-pointers made and 3-pointers per game with 92 and four, respectively.

In Iowa’s final regular season game against Nebraska Saturday, Clark became the first freshman Hawkeye to eclipse the 600-point threshold in one season. Clark is only the fifth Hawkeye all-time to achieve the feat.

Junior center Monika Czinano was also a selection to the All-Big Ten first team by the coaches and media Monday. Czinano leads the nation in field goal percentage at 65.7 percent.

Sophomore guard Kate Martin — a captain on the Hawkeyes’ squad — is Iowa’s 2020-21 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.

Iowa women’s basketball ended the season with a 15-8 overall record and went 11-8 in the Big Ten — good for the No. 6 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa will play its first game of the postseason in Indianapolis, Indiana, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Wednesday night at approximately 8 p.m.

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