Saturday , December 9 2023

Record-breaking Caitlin Clark drives No.2 Iowa to shocking triumph over reigning champ South Carolina in Conclusive Four

The defending champion and No. 1 seed, South Carolina, was on a 42-game winning streak that lasted 389 days, beginning with the team’s run to the national championship last season. This gave the appearance that the team would win the national championship.

Caitlin Clark led second-seeded Iowa to a stunning 77-73 victory over the undefeated defending champion in the Final Four on Friday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. It would take one of the great NCAA performances to topple the Gamecocks, and Caitlin Clark delivered just that.

Following her 41-point triple-double in the Elite Eight, Clark finished with a total of 41 points, a women’s Final Four record, in front of a raucous crowd of more than 19,000 people.

The Hawkeyes won their first NCAA title game in program history thanks to the AP Player of the Year’s eight assists, six rebounds, and the last 13 points of the fourth quarter.

Clark stated following the game on the ESPN broadcast, “All we did was believe in each other.” We weren’t the tallest, but we knew they would beat us on the glass. All we had to do was have heart and belief, and we came through when big plays were needed. I’m so proud of this group.

Zia Cooke, a guard for South Carolina, scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds, but star forward Aliyah Boston struggled, scoring only eight points on 2-of-9 field goal attempts.

In the interim, no LSU, a three-seed, defeated No. 1 with an epic fourth-quarter comeback. A new women’s NCAA national champion will be crowned on Sunday as Virginia Tech, the top-seeded team, defeats No. 1 Virginia Tech 79-72 to advance to its first national title game in program history.

In the fourth quarter, the Tigers were down nine points, but they went on a 22-3 run, took a double-digit lead of 72-62 with three minutes left, and held on for a memorable victory.

Alexis Morris, a guard for LSU, had a game-high 27 points, and Angel Reese, a star forward, added 24 points and 12 rebounds. They combined for 20 of LSU’s 29 points in the fourth quarter.

It’s like dreaming. Reese said after the game, “I’m just not even believing this right now. It still hasn’t hit me that I’m at the Final Four.” How much my life has changed in a year is just crazy. How much I’ve improved both on and off the court, and how fortunate I am to be a part of this remarkable program, LSU, as well as my remarkable teammates and coaches. I have no idea how to feel right now.

Kim Mulkey, the head coach of the LSU women’s basketball team, became the second coach to lead two distinct programs to the national championship game after winning the championship three times at Baylor—in 2005, 2012, and 2019.

Mulkey declared, “I’m blessed,” upon reaching the title game. I returned home for numerous reasons. one day to hang a banner of the championship in the PMAC. You never, ever, ever think you’ll do this again in two years.

“You think about all of the men’s players who have played at LSU and all of the women’s players who have played there. I was somewhat surprised when they informed me that none of them had ever competed for a national championship; therefore, that is an accomplishment. That is a positive move, “Mulkey continued.

The women’s national championship will be decided on April 2 when Iowa and LSU square off.

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