Hawkeyes script perfect ending to regular season
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa ‘s Caitlin Clark only needed 1.5 seconds to secure the 86-85 victory over second ranked Indiana.
“Those are the situations you dream of and want to be in. I’m lucky enough to be able to do it for this team and in front of 15,000 people that want to come and scream about it,” Clark said.
The final play of the game is something they’ve worked on a lot in practice.
“Honestly, Monika [Czinano] set a really good screen. I came off of it and somehow I was kind of more open than I should have been and I got the ball. Not much time to find the rim, but turn and get it off at the same time and hope for the best. It kind of spun around for a second, but then it went down,” Clark explained.
“I remember in practice not setting it great. Her not getting a shot, so I just kind of knew that that was going to have to be there. I told her in the huddle, really wait for it. Let me come, get there and it just kind of worked out perfectly,” fifth-year center Monika Czinano said.
Indiana may have claimed the Big Ten regular season title, but with the win the Hawkeyes locked up the second seed in the Big Ten Tournament as they look to defend their crown.
“We told the team, you can’t be Big Ten champs, but you can beat the Big Ten champs. That’s what we wanted to do today,” Iowa women’s basketball head coach Lisa Bluder said.
An electric game like this was a perfect way to send out Iowa’s seniors McKenna Warnock and Czinano.
“You couldn’t ask for a better chance, a better opportunity, in front of your sold out crowd. It’s something that any little kid dreams of. It’s something I’ve dreamt of. It’s really surreal, honestly,” Warnock said.
“I feel really lucky to have played through arguably, the most influential time in women’s basketball. From when I started to now, the growth has been absolutely unreal. Being able to end and kind of leave this program in a place where I know it’s in such great hands and the growth that’s happening to it on a national level, that’s so big. It’s so special,” Czinano added.
This win also prepares the team for March, when they’ll need these types of clutch performances.
“I know this team is going to turn to me in those situations. It’s not anything I’m going to shy away from. If you want to be one of the best players, on the best teams, those are situations you have to rise to,” Clark said.
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