IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP)Caitlin Clark’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer lifted No. 6 Iowa to an 86-85 win over No. 2 Indiana on Sunday.
Clark, who scored 34 points and added nine rebounds and nine assists, took the inbound pass from Kate Martin with 1.5 seconds left while coming off a screen from Monika Czinano. Her off-balance shot from the right side that rolled in as the horn sounded.
”Caitlin, we knew she had it the whole time,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said of the shot.
”Monika set a really good screen,” Clark said. ”I came off it, and I was probably more open than I should have been. There was not much time to find the room and try to get it off at the same time, but I hoped for the best. It kind of spun around for a second.”
Indiana coach Teri Moren said Chloe Moore-McNeil was assigned to guard Clark, but she slipped coming around the Czinano screen.
”I don’t know if she got her foot tangled or if she fell on her own,” Moren said. ”I think would have been different if she would have been able to stay on her feet.”
Indiana had held the Hawkeyes without a field goal in the final 1:30, taking an 85-83 lead on Mackenzie Holmes’ two free throws. Bluder called a timeout and advanced the ball to midcourt to set up the game-winning shot.
The clock originally had just eight-tenths of a second on it when Holmes was going to go to the line, but after a replay review seven-tenths of a second were added.
”They can go to the monitor any time in the last two minutes, and I’m so glad they did,” Bluder said.
Clark lobbied for the review.
”I knew to go tell the ref like you have to go look and see if the time is right,” Clark said. ”And, you know, they basically doubled (the time) at that point. There’s a big difference between 0.8 and 1.5 (seconds) for me to get a shot off like that.”
Moren said had there been the original time, she might have had Holmes intentionally miss the second free throw once the Hoosiers had the lead.
”We felt like we needed both of them, because 1.5 is a lot of time,” Moren said.
The Hawkeyes (23-6, 15-3 Big Ten), denied a chance to share the Big Ten title after Tuesday’s 96-68 loss to Maryland, snapped the 14-game winning streak of the Hoosiers (26-2, 16-2) and finished in a tie with Maryland for second place in the conference.
”I told the team we couldn’t be the Big Ten champs, but we could beat the Big Ten champs,” Bluder said.
Clark had scored on the final plays of every quarter. She had layups at the end of the first and second quarters, and made two free throws in the final seconds of the third quarter.
”It’s not anything I shy away from, if you want to be the best player on one of the best teams,” Clark said of being the choice to get the ball in the closing seconds. ”I’ve been in plenty that haven’t gone my way, but that’s just basketball.”
Martin had 19 points for the Hawkeyes. Czinano had 13.
Holmes led Indiana with 21 points. Moore-McNeil and Sydney Parrish had 18. Grace Berger had 16.
Indiana: The Hoosiers had every answer for the Hawkeyes throughout the game after falling behind by 11 points twice in the first half. Now they head to the Big Ten Tournament as the top seed. ”The ending of this chapter wasn’t what we wanted, but another book comes out next week,” Moren said.
Iowa: Their chance at sharing the Big Ten title was gone after Tuesday’s loss at Maryland, and this game appeared to have gotten away when the Hoosiers had the lead late. But Clark, who was 12 of 22 from the field, made the biggest play at the end.
Indiana: At Big Ten Tournament on Friday.
Iowa: At Big Ten Tournament on Friday.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25