Caitlin Clark’s 30 points lead No. 7 Iowa women past Huskers
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Caitlin Clark scored 30 points, Monika Czinano added 20 and seventh-ranked Iowa pulled away in the second half for a 80-60 win over Nebraska on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes (22-5, 14-2) moved a game behind Big Ten-leading Indiana with two regular-season games left.
Jaz Shelley had 19 points and nine rebounds and Alexis Markowski had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Cornhuskers (14-13, 6-10), who lost their fourth straight.
Clark and Czinano combined for 15 of the Hawkeyes’ 21 points in the third quarter, when they stretched their 40-33 halftime lead to 61-47.
Iowa, which beat the Huskers 80-76 in Iowa City last month, has won eight in a row in the series.
Saturday’s game drew a Nebraska record crowd of 14,289, with many in the building to see a national player of the year candidate in Clark.
Clark has never scored fewer than 30 points in any of her seven games against Nebraska. Her layup midway through the fourth quarter gave her 30, then she took a seat for the rest of the game.
Clark also had five rebounds and eight assists, with five leading to baskets by Czinano. Clark leads the country with 14 games with at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Iowa was up 21-14 after the first quarter but had its momentum stall early in the second. Shelley’s deep 3 got the Huskers within 29-26, and after she and Clark traded layups, Isabelle Bourne banked in a 3 to tie it 31-all.
The Hawkeyes closed the half on a 9-2 spurt with Clark leading the way. She snaked through the lane for a layup, left Maddie Krull on the floor with a slick move on her way to another layin, sank a nearly 30-foot shot from the halfcourt logo and then threaded a pass to Czinano in the paint for an easy basket.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes survived a potential trap game that came between two blowout wins and a Tuesday trip to No. 8 Maryland. Plus, they found out Thursday ESPN’s College Gameday show would be televised from Carver-Hawkeye Arena before next Sunday’s showdown with No. 2 Indiana.
Nebraska: The Huskers’ hopes for a second straight NCAA Tournament bid are in peril unless they can make a strong run in the Big Ten Tournament.
BARK AT CLARK
Clark hit nothing with a turnaround jumper in the lane in the first quarter, briefly making her a target for heckling.
The “air ball” chant was to be expected, but the student section continued to razz her on Iowa’s next possession, serenading her with “air ball” when she touched the ball and again when she shot a pair of free throws, which she made.
Iowa: visits No. 8 Maryland for a likely top-10 showdown Tuesday.
Nebraska: visits Illinois on Wednesday looking to avenge its loss to the Illini two weeks ago.
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