The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa loses, 82-79, to Nebraska as Caitlin Clark goes scoreless in the fourth quarter

Clark entered the game needing 39 to pass Kelsey Plum’s record as the all-time scoring leader in NCAA women’s basketball and finished the game with 31 points.
Cody Blissett
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark prepares to go up for a shot during a women’s basketball game between No. 2 Iowa and Nebraska at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb., on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2024.

The No. 2 Iowa women’s basketball team fell to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 82-79, at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska on Sunday. 

Former Washington player Kelsey Plum’s time as the all-time scoring leader continues for another day as guard Caitlin Clark needed 39 points to pass Plum as number one and fell eight points short of the mark, finishing the game with 31 points, 10 assists, and eight rebounds. 

Iowa held a double-digit lead going into the fourth quarter. During the post-game press conference, Clark said the team didn’t execute well in certain areas. 

“Another case of us blowing a lead, and that’s something that has to stop,” Clark said. 

Iowa ends the regular season with a 1-1 record against the Cornhuskers in head-to-head matchups, with the Hawkeyes winning by 19 in the two teams’ first matchup on Jan. 27.

Nebraska came into Sunday’s game losing three of its last five and being led by former Big Ten Freshman of the Year Alexis Markowski, averaging 16.5 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.

Sydney Affolter got the starting nod over guard Molly Davis, who saw limited minutes in the Hawkeyes’ win against Penn State due to an illness. 

After winning the opening tip, Clark was unsuccessful on her first three-pointer attempt. Guard Kate Martin got the first points for Iowa in the game, blowing past a defender on a pump fake and scoring Iowa’s layup on the second Hawkeye possession. 

Shortly after, Clark made her first three-pointer of the game off of an assist by guard Gabbie Marshall. 

From there, it was a back-and-forth contest for the rest of the quarter with Markowski and guard Jaz Shelley each scoring for the Cornhuskers, and Iowa led just 16-13 going into the second.

Iowa opened the second quarter with a layup by Stuelke that Nebraska’s Natalie Potts quickly followed up to on the other end. A couple of possessions later, Affolter made a three-pointer in transition off the assist by Clark. 

Shelley and Clark each recorded two three-pointers in the second quarter, with Clark jawing at the Moe, Australia, native after hitting a free throw line jumper.

After a steal by Stuelke with less than a minute remaining in the half, Clark found Martin for a layup and the 1,000th assist of her illustrious career. 

Still, the Cornhuskers were able to keep up with Iowa offensively, and the Hawkeyes led by just four going into halftime. 

Game of momentum

Nebraska’s Kendall Moriarty scored the Cornhuskers’ first basket of the second half with a layup. Later, Clark hit the stepback three, and the Cornhuskers’ Natalie Potts was called for the shooting foul, which Clark converted for a four-point play.

Next, Martin made a three off the assist by Stuelke, and Clark forced the turnover on Potts and found Marshall in transition for the layup, forcing Nebraska’s coach, Amy Williams, to call the timeout.

The Cornhuskers shortened Iowa’s lead after a three-pointer by Logan Nissley, followed by Markowski hitting two consecutive threes herself, and Nebraksa trailed the Hawkeyes by six, 59-53.

But never to be upstaged, Clark responded on the Hawkeyes’ next offensive possession with a deep three-pointer over Nebraska’s Kendall Coley.

Iowa went on a 10-2 run to end the quarter and entered the fourth with its largest lead of the game, up 69-55. 

The Cornhuskers weren’t out of it yet, however, and started the fourth quarter going on an 8-2 run and forcing Bluder to call a timeout with six minutes remaining in the game.

Martin said the team got away from playing its brand of basketball in the fourth quarter. 

“We were playing to not lose and not playing to win,” she said. “We just got comfortable and maybe weren’t cutting as hard or crashing [for rebounds], and you just get complacent sometimes, and that’s something we should never do.”

The momentum continued for Nebraska after a three-pointer from Shelley, followed by Potts going 2-of-2 from the free throw line to shorten Iowa’s lead to four. 

Martin silenced the Nebraska fans momentarily by draining a three-pointer off the assist by Clark. The Cornhuskers responded with Nissley hitting a step-back three and then getting fouled by Clark on a three-point attempt on Nebraska’s next possession, hitting two of three.

With 49 seconds remaining, Nebraska had possession down two. Looking to get it to Markwoski, Shelley instead hit her fifth three-pointer of the night and put the Cornhuskers up one with 30 seconds remaining. 

Clark was unsuccessful in her next three-point attempt, and Nebraska got the rebound. Marshall fouled Shelley on the next possession, and the junior made both free throws for the Cornhuskers and then another pair to keep the lead at three. When Clark and Martin both missed three-point attempts to tie the game, the buzzer indicated a Nebraska win as the fans stormed the floor.

Up next

The Hawkeyes are back in action against the Michigan Wolverines at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Clark eight shy of Plum’s record.

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About the Contributors
Cooper Worth is a Pregame Reporter for The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and mass communication. He is also earning a minor in communication studies and an entrepreneurial management certificate. This is his third year at the DI, previously serving as a News Editor and as a News Reporter covering local government in Johnson County for the DI. Cooper interned for the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa during the summer of 2023 as a general news reporter.
Cody Blissett, Visuals Editor
Cody Blissett is a visual editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a third year student at the University of Iowa studying cinema and screenwriting. This is his first year working for The Daily Iowan.