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Caitlin Clark Explodes For 44 As Iowa Holds Off Virginia Tech


When asked if he would try to slow down Iowa native and collegiate women’s basketball sensation Caitlin Clark, Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks could only shake his head.

On Thursday night, Clark was amazing—not just good.

In an unexpected matchup of last year’s Final Four teams, No. 3 Iowa defeated No. 8 Virginia Tech 80-76 behind a 44-point performance and eight rebounds by the Associated Press’ 2023 Player of the Year.

Clark had five threes and was 13 of 31 from the field. She made multiple one-handed scoop layups and consistently made her way to the foul line as she made her way to the basket with great ease.

Anyone trying to guard her would eventually find themselves in foul trouble and be forced to take a seat on the bench next to Brooks as she made 13 of the 17 free throws.

Almost every time the Hokies had possession of the ball, she was vulnerable to defense.

Even when Clark wasn’t scoring, she was improving others around her. Although she ended up with six assists, she might have easily had ten or more if her teammates hadn’t been missing simple layups.

On a weekday in Charlotte, almost 15,000 people attended the performance, with many of them going only to see Clark, a regular occurrence around the nation. More than 3,000 people would show up in the host city whenever the Hawkeyes played during the previous season, simply to see Clark.

The crowd at the Spectrum Center was mostly made up of Hokies, while occasionally there were boos for the referees from Virginia Tech supporters who felt Clark was receiving too many calls.

However, quite a performance was witnessed by all.

Little children wearing No. 22 Iowa jerseys rushed to the arena tunnel as soon as the horn went off to collect her autograph as she departed the floor. She signed for a few minutes and then was asked to come to the changing area.

It certainly beats playing in front of cardboard cutouts and a few family members during the height of the coronavirus outbreak, as Clark described the incredible atmosphere as being similar to a Final Four game.

“It’s incredible, honestly,” Clark said of the attention. “It seems like there are a lot of people that are just fans of our game, whether it is Iowa fans or Virginia Tech fans or just people that are here to support women’s basketball. And that is why this game was put on is because they understand how great women’s basketball is and how much it is growing.”

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