June 19, 2024

IOWA CITY— It wasn’t the way Iowa or Caitlin Clark intended to start March Madness, but in a month of survive-and-advance, the Hawkeyes achieved just that with a 91-65 victory over Holy Cross in their NCAA Tournament first-round game Saturday.

“I think the first quarter kind of frustrated maybe all of us in a way,” Clark went on to say. “I believe this is a game that you should come out and dominate right away because it will fuel your success. Like coach (Lisa Bluder) stated, I believe we played with a little rust.”

It had been 13 days since the Hawkeyes lifted the conference trophy during the Big Ten Tournament championship game, and the almost two-week gap was obvious early on as No. 1-seed Iowa couldn’t beat No. 16-seed Holy Cross.

The Crusaders opened with a tough, aggressive defence that packed the paint and caused the Hawkeyes early problems. Iowa shot the ball well as a team in that first quarter, shooting 46 percent from the field and making 3 of 5 shots from outside the arc, but Iowa’s six turnovers (which Holy Cross converted into seven points) neutralised any potential early advantage that hot shooting may have generated.

By the second quarter, Iowa had settled into a rhythm, making several consecutive defensive stops and limiting turnovers. The Hawkeyes outscored Holy Cross 25-9 in the second quarter, building an 18-point halftime lead that they maintained throughout the game.


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