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Clark, Czinano lead Iowa past SE Louisiana in March Madness

Syndication: The Des Moines Register

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) dribbles down the court during the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, March 17, 2023.

Margaret Kispert/The Register / USA TODAY NETWORK

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Caitlin Clark had 26 points and 12 assists and Monika Czinano added 22 points as Iowa defeated Southeastern Louisiana 95-43 in a women’s NCAA Tournament first-round game on Friday.

Hannah Stuelke added 13 points for the Hawkeyes, the second seed in Seattle Regional 4. Iowa (27-6) will play No. 10 seed Georgia in the second round on Sunday.

Clark, an Associated Press first-team All-American who was third in the nation in scoring at 27 points per game, added seven assists. She was 9 of 14 from the field.

Czinano, third in the nation in field-goal percentage after leading the nation in that category the last two seasons, was 10 of 12 from the field. She added eight rebounds.

The Hawkeyes, playing in front of a sellout crowd of 14,382, never trailed. They led 28-17 at the end of the first quarter and 54-32 at halftime. Iowa shot 60.6% in the first half, 60% for the game.

Iowa’s defense held the Lady Lions to just 25.4% shooting for the game, including 3 of 32 from the field in the second half.

Southeastern Louisiana (21-10), a No. 15 seed that was the Southland Conference regular season and tournament champion, was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Cierria Cunningham led the Lady Lions with 15 points.


Southeastern Louisiana: The Lady Lions came into the game ranked 14th in scoring defense, allowing just 54.5 points per game, but the Hawkeyes passed that early in the second half. Still, the Lady Lions never seemed rattled playing in front of the largest crowd they’ve seen all season until the second half.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes remember last season’s second-round exit in a loss to Creighton at home, and they came out strong in this game. The Hawkeyes turned in one of their better defensive performances of the season.