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Clark scores 32 as top seed Iowa survives to top West Virginia, 64-54

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Caitlin Clark scored 32 points and No. 1 seed Iowa survived one of its worst offensive performances of the season to beat No. 8 seed West Virginia 64-54 on Monday night in a women’s NCAA Tournament second-round game.

The Hawkeyes (31-4) advanced to play No. 5 seed Colorado in Saturday’s Albany 2 Regional semifinal.

Sydney Affolter’s three-point play with 2:03 to play, the Hawkeyes’ lone field goal of the fourth quarter, gave Iowa a 55-52 lead. Clark and Hannah Stuelke closed the game with nine free throws to clinch the win.

As time ran out on the final home game of her career, Clark, who became the NCAA’s Division I all-time scoring leader this season, circled the court, making a heart-shaped symbol with her hands as the sellout crowd cheered.

Iowa came into the game leading the nation in scoring at 92.8 points per game, but the Hawkeyes were held to their lowest single-game point total this season. Iowa shot just 36.4% from the field.

Affolter had 13 points, while Stuelke added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Iowa seemed to have control of the game after an 8-0 run over the final 1:25 of the third quarter gave the Hawkeyes a 48-38 lead. But West Virginia opened the fourth quarter with a 10-0 run to tie the game with 5:18 to play, setting up the final minutes.

It was clear from the start that this was going to be a game of defense. Iowa led just 26-24 at halftime, with both teams going through scoring droughts.

The Hawkeyes led 26-19 before going the last 4:50 of the half without a point, shooting 27.3 percent in the second quarter. West Virginia went almost five minutes late in the first quarter and early in the second quarter without a point, and didn’t score for the final 2:11 of the half. The two teams combined for just nine field goals in the second quarter.

JJ Quinerly led West Virginia (25-8) with 15 points. Kyah Watson had 13 points and Jayla Hemingway had 10 points.