Caitlin Clark had 30 points, 17 assists and 10 rebounds in her 10th career triple-double for the Iowa Hawkeyes, who blew a 37-point halftime lead and beat Ohio State 105-72 on Sunday to win the Big Ten Tournament for the second straight time. course
Monika Czinano scored 26 points on 11-of-12 shooting for the No. 7 Hawkeyes (26-6), who entered the conversation for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with this championship run.
Clark had 23 points in the first half, just one fewer than the Buckeyes (25-7). He stepped back for NBA-range 3-pointers from the wing, drove hard to the hoop to draw fouls, and dished out a steady stream of laser-like passes that were so devastating to the defense of Ohio State as beautiful for the dominated by Iowa. crowd to watch.
The announced attendance of 9,505 set the Big Ten Tournament single-session record to beat the 2004 championship game in Indianapolis between Purdue and Penn State (9,417).
Clark flashed a big smile as he grabbed his 10th rebound with 5:18 left. The Big Ten Player of the Year’s final assist, one shy of her career high, came on Gabbie Marshall’s 3-pointer with 4:43 left to give the Hawkeyes their 100th point. Just before being permanently replaced, Clark put her hand to her ear to irritate her fans once again.
Clark recorded the third triple-double in Big Ten Tournament history, joining Minnesota’s Janel McCarville and Amanda Zahui B.
Most of those passes were high and low feeds to Czinano, who moved and steered around Big Ten Freshman of the Year Cotie McMahon, who played a big part in slowing down the Indiana star Mackenzie Holmes in the semi-final comeback from a 24-point deficit.
Caitlin Clark dominates the Big Ten title game
Caitlin Clark hit a deep 3-pointer while compiling a triple-double in a rout of Ohio State.
Taylor Mikesell had 24 points and McMahon added 23 points for the Buckeyes, who shot 4-for-18 in the first quarter and never recovered. Without those shots falling, they simply couldn’t establish the full-court press that fueled their rally against the Hoosiers the day before.
With Indiana and Maryland having delivered resumes worthy of top seeds for the NCAA Tournament, Iowa took the court aiming for the same, even if Hawkeyes coach Lisa Bluder avoided that one topic in his weekend conversations with the players so as not to distract from the mission of repeating the conference tournament title.
The Hawkeyes will surely be at least a No. 2 seed. The Buckeyes likely cemented themselves as a No. 3 seed by reaching the final.
Iowa beat Indiana in the championship game last season.
This year’s Big Ten brought the tournament to Minneapolis for the first time, and Iowa will be happy to have it held there in 2024 as well.
The Hawkeyes made Target Center their home away from home, with black and gold the dominant colors in the arena each day and Clark often seizing opportunities to further energize the crowd with a well-timed move and shout. The Hawkeyes men’s program’s all-time leading scorer, Luka Garza, even showed up in a courtside seat on Sunday. He currently plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves, who just returned from a road trip.
Report from The Associated Press.
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