Saturday, May 18

It was expected to be Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers –

  • Andrea Adelson, ESPN Senior WriterApr 6, 2024, 02:07 AM ET

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    • ACC press reporter.
    • Signed up with ESPN.com in 2010.
    • Graduate of the University of Florida.

CLEVELAND– Hannah Stuelke stood high inside versus among the very best post gamers in the nation.

Kate Martin conjectured to the nose, left the court to stop the bleeding, pushed tissues inside her nostrils and after that returned to score one essential basket after the next down the stretch.

Gabbie Marshall drew a game-deciding offending nasty after locking down Paige Bueckers all night.

Over and over once again, a video game billed as Caitlin Clark versus Paige Bueckers developed into something much various. Clark was not the leading scorer for Iowa; Bueckers was inadequate down the stretch. Neither made the greatest have fun with the video game on the line.

Rather, essentially everybody on the Iowa lineup stepped up– from protective perseverance, to offending boards, paint points and perhaps the most essential play of all– Marshall drawing the nasty with 3.9 seconds left. Completion outcome? An impressive 71-69 return triumph over UConn Friday night to punch a ticket to the championship game video game versus South Carolina.

“That’s how it’s been every video game the whole season,” Martin stated. “We do not win any of our video games without each and every single individual on this group. The media plays it up for what it needs to be, for viewership and whatever, however we do not win that video game without every individual on our bench, every individual in the video game. I believed everyone did an excellent task of stepping up when they required to.

“Caitlin and Paige are both excellent gamers and they deserve their flowers. They deserve their acknowledgment, however everyone on UConn should have the acknowledgment and everybody on Iowa does too.”

It ended up being clear at an early stage that the points would not come so quickly for Clark, who fought with her hallmark shot. Instead of panic, her colleagues simply stepped up and did their tasks. Stuelke fought inside with Aaliyah Edwards, playing possibly her most total video game of the season.

She scored a team-high 23 points on 9-of-12 shooting, her acme overall in an NCAA competition video game. Her previous high? Thirteen points. Later, colleagues applauded the method she had fun with self-confidence. Stuelke stated, “I believe from the dive I was being aggressive. I believed I prepared much better for this video game than I provided for the last.”

“She had fun with an energy about herself [that] she truly might enter there and control,” Clark stated. “She goes toe-to-toe with Aaliyah Edwards, who in my mind is among the very best gamers in the nation. It was physical with her. Safeguarded her well. Boxed her out. And she wasn’t scared to take it at her either, I believed.

“When I began driving,

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