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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Iowa won its third straight Big Ten title.

SportsIowa won its third straight Big Ten title.

The Big Ten tournament title game was less than an hour away, and only one player was on the court. She shot jump shot after jump shot at the end of the arena that featured the four championship banners for the Minnesota Lynx, the team she grew up rooting for. Fourteen teams spent the past week vying for the conference title, but this event felt like one last celebration of Clark for Big Ten fans who watched her grow into a phenomenon over the past four years The tournament sold out for the first time, and downtown was swarmed by fans, most of them wearing black and gold. The most outstanding player in the Big Ten tournament finished with 34 points, 12 assists, and seven rebound. Clark scored six straight points in overtime to give the second-seeded Hawkeyes a lead they never relinquished. It really had it all on the biggest stage when Iowa trailed fifth-seeded Nebraska 46-35 at halftime. Can't be happier for our group.

After a Nebraska shot went awry and the buzzer sounded to end regulation, Clark looked into the crowd and shouted, "Five f—ing minutes!" As overtime ended, she sprinted the length of the court before throwing the ball into the stands. The confetti fell from the rafters as she was handed another trophy. She was compared to Michael Jordan by a fan, who claimed to have traveled about 24 hours to see her. The upper deck was packed for their games, and the cheers of "I-O-W-A!" echoed throughout the building. She is close to setting a single-season record of 1,109, set in the 2016-17 season for Washington. The Cornhuskers were unbothered by the hype when they defeated Iowa in the tournament final. Clark was 0 for 9 from the field in the first half. We had a lot more fun after the second half. If we want to reach our goals in March, we will have to find ways to win that are not always pretty.

There is no way you can keep her down the whole game.

The Cornhuskers were 7 for 16 from behind the 3-point line, while the Hawkeyes were 4 for 16. Her first three-pointer was of the step-back variety, and then her cutting layup gave Iowa a 53-52 lead in the fourth quarter.

Clark had a steal in overtime after hitting a step-back three that put her team up 89-87. The game ended with Clark's third steal.

The Cornhuskers were able to silence the crowd and they played a great game.

Hannah Stuelke had 25 points and nine assists and Kate Martin had 13 points and 11 boards. The Hawkeyes are in line to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Clark believes that the rest of the nation will be able to do the same once the NCAA tournament begins. We hope to do it a few more times in March.

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