Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Women’s Basketball: Northwestern drops fifth consecutive contest in sell out against Caitlin Clark, No. 3 Iowa

Sophomore+guard+Caroline+Lau+drives+the+lane+against+Iowa+Wednesday.
Alyce Brown/Daily Senior Staffer
Sophomore guard Caroline Lau drives the lane against Iowa Wednesday.

On a historic night at Welsh-Ryan Arena, Northwestern took on No. 3 Iowa in front of the arena’s first women’s basketball sellout crowd in program history. 

With over 7,000 fans coming out to see Hawkeye guard Caitlin Clark — arguably the queen of the women’s collegiate game — the reigning national player of the year didn’t disappoint. She led the Hawkeyes (20-2, 9-1 Big Ten) to a 36-point blowout victory over the Wildcats (7-14, 2-8 Big Ten).

“It was a nice atmosphere, but I think honestly, at least for me, when I’m on the court, I’m not really hearing everybody,” junior guard Melannie Daley said. “Like I hear our fans cheering but I wasn’t really listening to the Iowa fans.”

The hosts set a quick pace for the game right off the bat, starting out with offensive firepower and defensive aggression. Junior forward Caileigh Walsh got things started with a quick 3-pointer. 

Though the ‘Cats made a team effort, junior guard Hailey Weaver kicked off the game with the toughest job —  defending Clark. Weaver used full-court coverage on Clark, hoping to limit her production. 

NU’s strategy proved effective early on as the ‘Cats held a 5-2 lead just two minutes into the game. Iowa’s only points of the first few minutes of action came from free throws.

However, with a little bit more than seven minutes left in the first quarter, Clark began to show fans why they packed Welsh-Ryan Arena Wednesday night as she let the ball fly and notched her first few points of the game. 

Iowa began to ease into the game, knocking down shots and creating opportunities at the charity stripe.

Although NU strung together a valiant effort to keep the game close within the first quarter, the Hawkeyes made it difficult. Clark shot 2-of-4 from downtown, giving her 10 points on the quarter.  

After the ‘Cats cut the lead down to seven early in the second quarter, the Hawkeyes went on a 10-0 run capped by a Clark layup, which made her the second leading scorer in NCAA history.

Soon after Clark reached this milestone, NU’s chances started slipping –– the team missed many rebounding and second-chance opportunities. 

Daley provided a spark for the ‘Cats with 10 points at the half, making a few key plays and taking advantage of an “and-one” opportunity. 

Heading into the half, Clark had 18 points on 4-of-11 shooting, leading all scorers and helping give Iowa a 15-point lead heading into the break.

After coming out of the locker room up 47-32, the Hawkeyes came out energized to put the game away early with a quick 3-pointer and layup to kick off the 3rd quarter. 

The ‘Cats, however, were still eager to try and cut into the lead, finding and taking advantage of good opportunities on the floor to make some easy and quick buckets.

But when Clark is on the opposing team, it’s hard to ever feel secure in opposing offensive production. 

NU stared down a 20-point hole which continued to grow as the 3rd quarter neared its finish. 

Ultimately, Iowa entered the fourth quarter up 23 points. Kicking off game action in the fourth, the Hawkeyes drained a couple quick threes to all but finish the ‘Cats off.

Although the ‘Cats soon went down 32 points, Daley’s seven points in the quarter and 19 points on the night was a positive for the group. 

“I feel like she always plays really well against us,” Clark said of Daley. “She made a lot of tough twos and that’s what we’re willing to give up on our offense. Credit to her. (It) seems like she always gets up a little more for Iowa.”

Despite shooting 11-of-22 from the field and 3-of-12 from 3-point range, Clark dropped what many would describe as a quiet double-double of 35 points and 10 assists to lead Iowa to its 20th win of the season. 

Although the ‘Cats lost their 14th game of the year, the team battled before a sellout crowd and left it all on the court. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @Gabriella_Egozi

Related Stories:

Rapid Recap: No. 3 Iowa 110, Northwestern 74

Rapid Recap: No. 14 Indiana 100, Northwestern 59

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