Advertisement

Watch: Iowa's Caitlin Clark beats Michigan State with buzzer-beating 3-pointer

UPI
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (L) scored 40 points in a win over Michigan State on Tuesday in Iowa City. Photo by Brian Ray/HawkeyeSports.com

Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Caitlin Clark caught a pass, did a quick ball fake, dribbled and stepped back to the half-court logo before heaving up a 3-pointer and swishing the shot at the buzzer, leading Iowa to an electric win over Michigan State.

"Honestly, when it left my hand I knew it was going in," Clark told reporters Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

The deep dagger gave Iowa a 76-73 victory. Clark poured in a game-high 40 points for the Hawkeyes.

"We found a way to win," Hawkeyes coach Lisa Bluder said. "That's what good teams do. They find a way to win and we did.

"Caitlin has ice in her veins. I mean everybody knows it. She made eight 3s."

Clark missed her first three shots and committed two turnovers as the Spartans raced out to an 8-0 lead off the tip off. The Hawkeyes rallied to take a 25-17 lead into the second quarter. Clark scored 13 points over the first 10 minutes.

Clark scored just six in the second, when the Spartans outscored the Hawkeyes 20-10 to carry a 37-35 lead into halftime. The Hawkeyes outscored the Spartans 20-18 in the third and the game was tied 55-55 to start the fourth.

Clark totaled eight points in the third quarter. The Hawkeyes used a 9-0 run early in the fourth for a 66-57 edge. The Spartans then rallied to tie the score several times down the stretch.

Spartans junior guard DeeDee Hagemann tied the score for a final time with a layup with 22 seconds remaining. The Hawkeyes followed that made shot with a timeout.

Hawkeyes fifth-year guard Molly Davis dribbled near the right sideline to start the final sequence. She then tossed a pass to sophomore forward Hannah Stuelke at the top of the 3-point arc. Stuelke shielded off defenders before jumping and throwing a pass to Clark.

The Hawkeyes senior guard drew defender Moira Joiner. The Spartans senior guard closed in on Clark, but bit on a ball fake to her left. The move gave Clark enough space to step back to her left. She then released the long-distance shot and watched it fall through the net as the buzzer sounded.

"I almost started laughing," Clark said. "Then I ran to the other end of the floor and my teammates were there. I celebrated with them and everybody was like 'oh thank God, this game is over with, we don't have to go to overtime.'

"It was ugly, but it was a win. That's really all that matters at the end of the day. We have a road trip to prep for. We will come back and practice and learn from this and get ready for the next Big Ten game."

Clark scored 13 points over the final 10 minutes. She made 14 of 34 shots, including 8 of 20 3-point attempts. She also netted all four of her free throw attempts and totaled five assists and three steals.

The expected No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft is averaging a national-best 31.5 points per game this season. She also leads college basketball -- men's and women's -- with 76 made 3-pointers and 111 assists.

The No. 4 Hawkeyes (14-1) will battle Rutgers (6-10) at 6 p.m. EST Friday at Jersey Mike's Arena in Piscataway, N.J.