Women’s NCAA Tournament - Iowa defeats undefeated South Carolina, soaring into first national championship game

Yahoo Sports women’s college basketball writer Cassandra Negley recaps #2 Iowa and Caitlin Clark's historic night, with Iowa making it to the final for the first time in program history and Clark scoring 41 points in the process.

Video Transcript


CASSANDRA NEGLEY: This is Cassandra Negley here with Yahoo Sports in Dallas for the Final Four, where Iowa-South Carolina absolutely lived up to the billing.


Iowa pulled off the upset, 77 to 73, ending South Carolina's bid for a second consecutive title. It also ended their 42-game winning streak. They were a perfect 36 and 0 this season heading into this game. Lisa Bluder talked earlier in the week about taking the pressure off of Caitlin Clark. Clark showed up in Dallas and swept the Player of the Year awards. She won the Naismith on Wednesday, then the Wade Trophy, AP, and the Basketball Writers Association Award for it.

But Caitlin still came out and scored 41 points. She was electric. While she had a bunch of points, the bigger deal was her passing. She found Monika Czinano in the paint on the pick and roll multiple times, and absolutely crushed South Carolina's plan to bring length up to try and get in Caitlin's face. Caitlin had eight assists, Monika Czinano had 18 points, and Iowa is going to its first national championship game in program history. They'll have been in the Final Four for the first time since 1993.

For South Carolina, guard Zia Cooke basically carried them this game, and almost took them to the national championship. She was pretty close to Caitlin Clark's total with 24 points. And Kamilla Cardoso, the 6'7" forward off the bench, played a key role because Aliyah Boston got into foul trouble early. Kamilla Cardoso had 14 points. She was 7 of 9, and added 14 rebounds. South Carolina cleaned up on the glass. Absolutely destroyed, won the battle 49 to 25, but it did not matter. Iowa's defense stepped up. They had a huge offensive rebound late that pushed them into that national title game.

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