Clark triple-double leads No. 10 Iowa over No. 2 Ohio State

Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK
1 Comment

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Caitlin Clark added another accomplishment to her decorated resume at Iowa.

She notched 28 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds and No. 10 Iowa defeated No. 2 Ohio State 83-72 on Monday night.

Although Clark is known as a prolific scorer, leading NCAA Division I behind 72-consecutive games in double figures, she was all over the floor against the Buckeyes.

And that’s the player she aims to be.

“That’s just kind of what I pride myself in, being able to do a lot of different things on the basketball court for my team,” Clark said. “Those are players I grew up watching. Sam Logic, that used to play here at the University of Iowa, she was a triple-double queen, too. I love people that could score the ball. I love people that could pass the ball.”

Monika Czinano added 22 points for Iowa (16-4, 8-1 Big Ten).

Iowa’s 12-point lead almost midway through the third quarter narrowed as slim as three with 9:05 left in the fourth. Ohio State’s Cotie McMahon scored five of her 21 points in the final quarter, but Czinano went 3 for 3 in the fourth quarter to help keep the Buckeyes at bay.

“I think we were together the whole game,” Clark said. “They went on their runs. We were changing defenses. We weren’t able to score there for a little bit in the third quarter. And I thought we really stepped up and showed our maturity, and that’s what it’s going to take not only in the Big Ten but when you get into the NCAA Tournament.”

The Hawkeyes kept Ohio State scoreless for more than 2 1/2 minutes in the fourth quarter, allowing Czinano and Iowa to command a 13-point advantage with 3:11 remaining.

Ohio State (19-1, 8-1) gave one more try and went 4 of 9 from the field in the final three minutes, but the Hawkeyes made all eight attempts at the free throw line to seal the win.

“They came in just wanting to have that warrior, even mentality, and I thought we did that,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “I could just name person after person. They all did a great job, and I’m really proud of them. This is a big win.”

Ohio State shot 38%, its worst in five games, and 16% from 3-point range, its lowest mark of the season. Taylor Thierry scored 20 points and had nine rebounds.

“I don’t think that we were asking anybody to do anything that they weren’t capable of doing, but we just didn’t make a lot of shots,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “You’re not going to beat Iowa the way they were guarding us if that was the case.”

HISTORIC TRIPLE-DOUBLE

Clark’s 28 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds helped her become the second Division I male or female to notch a triple-double against an AP top 2 opponent since 1999-2000, joining Dwyane Wade who did so during the men’s NCAA Tournament in 2002-03.

It marked the eighth triple-double of Clark’s career.

“I don’t need to score 30 points every night. It’s the 25 and 10 and 10 that really helps us be super, super successful because that means we have multiple people contributing,” Clark said. “You’re guarding everybody on the floor. You’re guarding people off the bench. And that’s the recipe for success if you want to be an NCAA champion.”

MEANINGFUL MINUTES

Without McKenna Warnock, who didn’t play after starting the first 19 games of the season and is Iowa’s third-leading scorer, the Hawkeyes relied on others stepping up.

Kate Moore contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds, Hannah Stuelke grabbed 13 rebounds and Czinano went 11 of 13 from the field. Czinano was a perfect 4 of 4 while nearing foul trouble in the second half.

ONE FOR THE BOOKS

Iowa’s victory is its highest-ranked win in program history.

“That one hasn’t sunk in yet,” Bluder said. “These women are so amazing. I’m so proud of them. It’ll probably settle in tomorrow, and then we got to get ready for Nebraska.”

BIG PICTURE

Iowa: Turnovers remained an issue for the No. 2 scoring offense in the NCAA even after the Hawkeyes gave it away a season-high 20 times last time out against Michigan State in overtime Wednesday. Iowa had 17 giveaways against Ohio State’s press defense, including 11 in the second half.

Ohio State: The 19-game, season-opening win streak came to a close. The Buckeyes entered 4-0 against Top 25 opponents this season, and the challenge won’t slow as their next matchup will be with a top 10 conference foe.

“One of the things I told them, I was like, `Outside of tonight, I think for the most part we’ve handled winning fine – now you got to handle losing,”‘ McGuff said.

UP NEXT

Iowa: Hosts Nebraska on Saturday.

Ohio State: Travels to No. 6 Indiana on Thursday.

Clark helps No. 10 Iowa edge Michigan State 84-81 in OT

Phil Knight Legacy Tournament - Women's Championship: Iowa v UCONN
Getty Images
0 Comments

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Caitlin Clark had 26 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds to help No. 10 Iowa beat Michigan State 84-81 in overtime on Wednesday night.

Clark, who leads the Big Ten in scoring, hit a turnaround jumper with 31 seconds left to give Iowa the lead, then sealed it with a pair of free throws with 17 seconds left.

Monika Czinano added 22 points hitting all 11 of her shots — a school record — for Iowa (15-4, 7-1 Big Ten) before fouling out..

“We had to face a lot of adversity today,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “We lost McKenna (Warnock, to injury early in the second half). We lost Monika to fouls. We didn’t shoot the ball well, and to overcome all that and go into overtime and win on the road, I’m really pleased with our team’s effort. It wasn’t our most beautiful win, but I told the team there’s no asterisk at the end of that.”

Kamara McDaniel scored a team-high 21 points for the Spartans (10-9, 2-6). Matilda Ekh added 13, while Moira Joiner and Isoline Alexander had 11 apiece.

“We were struggling with their press, and they were able to capitalize on that,” Czinano said. ‘They ere driving to the hoop as well as any team we’ve seen, and they were O-boarding really well. There were a lot of factors that kept them in it.”

The Spartans had a final chance to win the game in overtime. With five seconds left, Clark was called for an intentional foul. McDaniel hit both free throws to get Michigan State within 82-81. McDaniel traveled on the ensuing possession with two seconds left and Molly Davis hit two free throws to seal the win.

“We have to be more efficient nd get the job done,” MSU coach Suzy Merchant said. “It’s frustrating. We’ve lost three overtime games, and in two of those we were flat. Tonight, I thought our effort was good, but our efficiency wasn’t great on the offensive end.

Both teams had chances to win in regulation, but neither scored in the final 47 seconds.

Iowa led for all but a split second in the first half, yielding the lead when McDaniel hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Spartans a 32-31 halftime lead.

“It was a big lift,” she said. “Those shots are cool, and thank God I was able to make it”

BIG PICTURE

Iowa: The Hawkeyes have a bigger challenge coming. They’ll face unbeaten Ohio State on Monday for the only meeting of the regular season between the teams.

Michigan State: The Spartans are 1-7 against Top 25 teams this season . Their only win against a ranked team so far was an 83-79 win over Indiana on Dec. 29.

UP NEXT

Iowa — At No. 2 Ohio State, Monday.

Michigan State — Home vs. Rutgers, Sunday.

Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery taking leave to address his anxiety

Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery will take an indefinite leave of absence to address a mental health issue, the athletic department announced.

McCaffery, son of head coach Fran McCaffery, said in a statement he has been battling anxiety and that it has reached the point where it inhibits his preparation and performance.

“It’s not fair to myself or teammates to be on the court when I am not myself,” he said. “The anxiety has affected my sleep, appetite, and stamina, which has resulted in not having the energy level necessary to compete at my full capabilities.”

Patrick McCaffery has started all 14 games and is the Hawkeyes’ third-leading scorer, averaging 12.8 points per game. He struggled the past two games, shooting 2 for 15 from the field and scoring a combined eight points in losses to Nebraska and Penn State.

“It might be two games, it may be four games, it may be more, but I will return when I feel like myself,” the fourth-year forward said.

McCaffery said the leave of absence is not related to his past battle with cancer. He was 13 when he was treated for thyroid cancer. He had two surgeries and was declared cancer-free three months after his diagnosis.

McCaffery said in an interview last month that the removal of his thyroid caused metabolic changes requiring him to pay close attention to his nutrition and sleep habits.

Fran McCaffery said the effects of his son’s anxiety have become more noticeable on and off the court the past couple weeks.

“All of us admire his courage and willingness to be open about this struggle and we hope others know that they are not alone,” the coach said. “We will be with him every step of the way.”

Iowa (8-6, 0-3 Big Ten) plays at home Thursday against No. 15 Indiana.

Murray scores career-high 29, Iowa beats Seton Hall 83-67

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

NEWARK, N.J. – Kris Murray tied a career-high with 29 points, Filip Rebraca added 10 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks and Iowa beat Seton Hall 83-67 on Wednesday night at the Gavitt Tipoff Games.

Rebraca blocked a shot at the halftime buzzer to keep Iowa ahead 34-22. The Hawkeyes shot just 33.3% from the field in the first half, but their defense held Seton Hall to 20% shooting with 11 turnovers.

Connor McCaffery sank a wide-open 3-pointer, off a nice pass from Ahron Ulis, to extend Iowa’s lead to 70-59. The Hawkeyes led by at least nine points the rest of the way.

Murray also grabbed 11 rebounds for his second career double-double. Tony Perkins had 18 points with five assists and McCaffery finished with 11 points for Iowa (3-0), which plays Omaha on Monday.

Dre Davis scored 13 points for Seton Hall (2-1). Kadary Richmond and Jamir Harris each added 11.

Boston, Clark headline AP women’s All-America team

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

Aliyah Boston of South Carolina and Caitlin Clark of Iowa were unanimous picks for The Associated Press preseason women’s basketball All-America team.

Boston led South Carolina to its second national championship and swept nearly ever major award last season. Expectations are high once again for the top-ranked Gamecocks and Boston, who was on all 30 ballots from the national media panel that selects the AP Top 25 each week.

“I don’t think all the awards define who she is but also puts her in a position of she’s in a more relaxed mode because she accomplished those things. She’s still in a place of hunger,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “She still wants to be the best. When you’ve proven that at such an early stage of your career, you want more and more. She’s entered a phase of wanting more yet is confident in who she is, since she was able to accomplish it.”

Seniors Haley Jones of Stanford, Ashley Joens of Iowa State and Elizabeth Kitley of Virginia Tech were also selected for the team as was sophomore Aneesah Morrow of DePaul.

Boston, who averaged 16.8 points and 12.4 rebounds, and Clark were both on the preseason team last year. Clark followed up a fantastic first season with an even better one as a sophomore, averaging 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Hawkeyes, who are ranked fourth in the preseason poll for their best mark since 1994.

“She worked on a little bit more emotional control in her leadership. I think that’s really important,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “You want those officials to be your best friends let’s treat them like that.”

Bluder also said Clark has added some post moves to her game: “That may sound silly with Monika (Czinano) on the block. She’s almost 5-foot-10 and no reason she can’t post up. She’s looking for that a lot more.”

Joens opted to stay at Iowa State for another year, passing up a chance to enter the WNBA draft. She averaged 20.3 points and 9.5 rebounds last season and is the first preseason All-American in school history.

“This is a great honor for Ashley and the entire Iowa State program,” coach Bill Fennelly said. “To be recognized with such a great group of players is an outstanding accomplishment. I know she will continue to work hard to play at an All-American level this season.”

Jones helped Stanford go 32-4 before falling to UConn in the Final Four. She averaged 13.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists for the Cardinal. Last season, coach Tara VanDerveer called her star the “Magic Johnson of women’s basketball.”

Kitley had a stellar year, averaging 18.1 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Hokies. Her return is a big reason why the team is ranked No. 13 in the preseason, its best mark since the final poll of 1999 when the school was also 13th.

She is the first player from the school to be honored as a preseason All-American.

“She’s the hardest working kid I’ve been around,” Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks said. ‘If she doesn’t do something, she has FOMO (fear of missing out). She’s added so much to her game to make us the best we can be. My responsibility is to prepare her for the next level.”

Morrow had an incredible first season, averaging 21.9 points and 13.5 rebounds for the Blue Demons. She is the first DePaul player to earn preseason honors since Latasha Byears did it in 1995.

“She earns it through her daily work ethic and competitiveness,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno said of Morrow.

All six players were honored last spring on the AP All-America teams. Boston, Clark and Jones were on the first team while Joens and Morrow were on the second. Kitley made the third team.

The AP started choosing a preseason All-America team before the 1994-95 season.

The Associated Press’ 2022-23 preseason All-America women’s basketball team, with school, height, year and votes from a 30-member national media panel (key 2021-22 statistics in parentheses):

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina, 6-5, senior, 30 of 30 votes (16.8 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 2.4 bpg.)

Caitlin Clark, Iowa, 6-0, junior, 30 of 30 votes (27.0 ppg, 8.0 apg, 8.0 rpg)

Haley Jones, Stanford, 6-1, senior 28 of 30 votes (13.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 3.7 apg)

Ashley Joens, Iowa State, 6-1, senior, 24 of 30 votes (20.3 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.0 apg)

Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech, 6-6, senior, 9 of 30 votes (18.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 2.4 bpg)

Aneesah Morrow, DePaul, 6-1, sophomore, 9 of 30 votes (21.9 ppg, 13.5 rpg, 3.0 spg)

Others receiving votes: Cameron Brink, Stanford; Rori Harmon, Texas; Hailey Van Lith, Louisville; Olivia Miles, Notre Dame; Angel Reese, LSU; Maddy Siegrist, Villanova; Azzi Fudd, UConn; Jade Loville, Arizona; Jordan Horston, Tennessee; Deja Kelly, North Carolina; Tamari Key, Tennessee.

Iowa assistant Kirk Speraw will retire after 43-year career

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 29 Iowa at Illinois
Getty Images
0 Comments

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa assistant Kirk Speraw will retire on June 30 after 43 years coaching college basketball, head coach Fran McCaffery announced Wednesday.

Speraw began his career as a graduate assistant under Lute Olson on Iowa’s 1980 Final Four team and ended it as a 12-year assistant under McCaffery.

“Kirk has been the ultimate professional and an important part of our basketball program since I arrived in Iowa City,” McCaffery said. “Kirk was well-respected by the players and was one of the key components of rebuilding the program. His knowledge of the game and relationships that he developed with the players, families and fans will be greatly missed.”

The Sioux City, Iowa, native helped guide the Hawkeyes to 20 or more wins eight of the last 10 years. Last season Iowa won four games in four days to capture the Big Ten Tournament title.

“I was fortunate that coach Olson gave me my start in coaching here at the University of Iowa and I am grateful that coach McCaffery and Gary Barta brought me back to my alma mater to finish my coaching career with a Big Ten championship,” Speraw said.

Speraw, 65, worked primarily with perimeter players. Peter Jok in 2017 became Iowa’s fifth Big Ten scoring champion, Joe Wieskamp in 2020 was the only Division I player with at least 400 points, 200 rebounds, 70 3-pointers and 25 steals, and Jordan Bohannon last season became the program’s career leader in assists and 3-pointers.

Speraw was head coach at Central Florida from 1994-2010 and at Pensacola (Florida) Junior College from 1988-90. He also made assistant coaching stops at Denver, Florida Southern and Florida.

Speraw played for Iowa from 1976-79, lettering on the Big Ten regular-season championship team as a senior.