Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

No. 14 Indiana frustrates Caitlin Clark en route to 86-69 win over No. 4 Iowa

Indiana made Caitlin Clark fight for every point.

The 14th-ranked Hoosiers’ relentlessly physical defense finally derailed the top women’s basketball scorer in NCAA Division I history.

A frustrated Clark endured a rare off-night while Sara Scalia scored 25 points and All-American center Mackenzie Holmes added 24 points and nine rebounds to lead Indiana past No. 4 Iowa 86-69 on Thursday night.

“I thought defensively, we were just terrific,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. “I think we made everything very difficult for Caitlin Clark tonight and that’s hard to do. She’s a phenomenal player.”

Playing for the first time since she broke the NCAA women’s career scoring record, Clark finished with 24 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds but struggled from the field. She was 8 of 26 overall and 3 of 16 on 3-pointers while scoring just four points in the second half.

Clark has 3,593 points and is 57 away from her next milestone, Lynette Woodard’s major women’s college scoring record, with three games left in the regular season.

Hawkeyes coach Lisa Bluder detected frustration from her star, who at one point was talking to the Indiana bench. Clark acknowledged how difficult it was to contend with the Hoosiers and their rotating defenders.

“I think being physical, face-guarding me, throwing a lot of different people at me, yeah, just very physical,” Clark said. “They kind of pushed me off my spots, got me out a little deeper than I wanted to be.”

Indiana, the defending regular-season Big Ten champion, had something to prove after Monday night’s inexplicable loss at Illinois, and the Hoosiers (22-4, 13-3) didn’t disappoint. Yarden Garzon made three 3s and finished with 15 points.

And the Hoosiers were more than ready for Clark, just like last year.

Three hours before tip-off, long lines were snaking around Assembly Hall for what had already been announced as a sellout. Inside the arena, Indiana T-shirts were the dominant fashion choice with a few black-and-gold No. 22 jerseys sprinkled around. And after Clark put up a rare shot that missed everything in the first half, the crowd responded with chants of “Airball!”

Clark’s three 3s gave her 143, breaking the single-season Big Ten record she set last season (140), but she couldn’t outduel the nation’s best shooting team.

Credit for that goes to Indiana’s defense.

“We knew she was going to get her 25, 30, 40 points, whatever,” Holmes said. “But we had a goal in mind to, you know, make it an inefficient 30, 40 points and to keep the others out of it. To be able to do that, and just be locked into the game that we had in store, that was the biggest thing.”

Indiana closed the first half on a 12-6 run for a 44-33 halftime lead, then shut out Iowa for nearly the first four minutes of the second half as it extended the margin to 51-33. Iowa finally responded with a 9-2 spurt and cut the deficit to 62-54 after three.

But Garzon opened the fourth quarter with two baskets and an assist to give the Hoosiers a 69-56 lead, and the Hawkeyes never recovered.

Kate Martin had 19 points for Iowa.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa: The Hawkeyes have lost three league games this season — all on the road. And it could cost them a shot at the Big Ten regular-season crown. No. 2 Ohio State has a two-game game lead over both Iowa and Indiana.

Indiana: Moren’s squad wasn’t about to let go of last season’s title without a fight. But the Hoosiers have only two games remaining and will need help to finish first again.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Iowa’s 17-week streak of being ranked in the top five could be in jeopardy. Indiana could move up, and this win keeps the Hoosiers in the mix to host NCAA Tournament games.

UP NEXT

Iowa: Hosts Illinois on Sunday.

Indiana: Visits Northwestern on Monday.