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

Caitlin Clark avenges national championship loss to LSU with record-breaking performance in Elite Eight

Clark finished with a double-double outing of 41 points and 12 assists while grabbing seven rebounds.
Grace Smith
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark shoots a 3-pointer during an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight game between No. 1 Iowa and No. 3 LSU at the Hilton Hotel in Albany, N.Y., on Monday, April 1, 2024. The Hawkeyes defeated the Tigers, 94-87.

ALBANY, N.Y. — In the 2023 NCAA National Championship in Dallas, Texas, LSU sent guard Caitlin Clark and Iowa packing in embarrassing fashion.

The Tigers ran Iowa off the court, winning by nearly 20 points and taunting Clark and company as time expired, with center Angel Reese hitting the now infamous ‘you can’t see me’ gesture toward No. 22 as she walked to the bench. 

Now, almost a year to the date of Iowa’s crushing loss, Clark and Iowa got revenge.

The No. 1 Hawkeyes beat No. 3  LSU 94-87 Monday evening in the Elite Eight to advance to the Final Four for the second straight season. Clark led Iowa with a double-double outing of 41 points and 12 assists while also grabbing seven rebounds. 

“I think that speaks to the confidence I have in myself, and I thought my shot felt good in warmups,” Clark said in the post-game press conference. “It was nice for sure to have a game where I got some good looks for three.”

It was a signature night for Clark, with the reigning national player of the year going 9-for-20 from beyond the arc, tying her career best for most three-pointers made in a game and the NCAA Tournament single-game record. 

Clark’s 45 percent clip from three was the best she’s shot in Iowa’s last seven games, and in the process of hitting her nine three-pointers, she broke the record for most threes made in a career in NCAA history.

“I feel like I’ve used every word imaginable to describe [Caitlin],” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Her distance shots were amazing tonight, [and] her logo threes were incredible. How do you defend that? It’s nearly impossible.” 

Clark didn’t just camp out from beyond the arc against LSU. She was also able to blow by defenders and score near the basket on four of her 13 made field goals. She also got to the foul line seven times during the contest, making all but one. Guard Gabbie Marshall said she’s never surprised whenever she hears that Clark broke another record and said that it’s all a testament to the work she puts in during practice. 

“She did it all tonight, and when [LSU] took away the three ball, she went into the paint,” Marshall said. “I think she was just shooting on fire tonight. She was just feeling it.” 

The records didn’t stop there, as Clark’s double-digit assists during the contest also set the record for the most assists in a career in NCAA women’s tournament history with 140.

“Taking a step back, I’m like, ‘Holy crap.’ She’s just amazing to watch,” guard Sydney Affotler said. “She’s the best college basketball player at the moment, and I’m just super grateful to be her teammate for the past three years.” 

Affotler said she is so used to seeing Clark make logo 3-pointers in practice that it doesn’t even faze her anymore when she attempts them in a game. 

“She’s lighthearted before the game starts, but she is super locked in once we step out on the court,” Affolter said. “I had all the confidence in the world that she was going to have a performance like she did today.” 

With much anticipation going into this second game against LSU due to the antics of Reese postgame and the first matchup being the most viewed women’s basketball game on record, Clark said she and the team didn’t pay attention to any of the outside noise being made about the rematch.

“It could have been five vs. five with nobody in the gym, and both teams would have competed the exact same way,” Clark said. “I’m not thinking, ‘Oh my god, there are millions of people watching this game at home right now.’ Like no, that’s not what’s happening. It’s what can I do for my team to help me win this game right now.” 

Heading into Iowa’s Final Four matchup against No. 3 UConn, which is a rematch from the 2021 Sweet 16 game where the Huskies beat Iowa 92-72, Clark said she and her teammates will continue focusing on their ultimate goal of winning a national championship. UConn defeated No. 1 USC, 80-73, to punch its ticket to Cleveland. 

“We focus on Iowa, and [if] we do what Iowa does, we’ll come out on top,” Clark said.

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About the Contributors
Cooper Worth, Pregame reporter
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.
Grace Smith, Senior photojournalist and filmmaker
Grace Smith is a fourth-year student at the University of Iowa double majoring in Journalism and Cinematic Arts. In her four years at The Daily Iowan, she has held the roles of photo editor, managing summer editor, and visual storyteller. Outside of The Daily Iowan, Grace has held an internship at The Denver Post and pursued freelance assignments for the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Des Moines Register.