Record-Setting Caitlin Clark Scores 35 As No. 6 Iowa Defeats No. 2 Ohio State 93-83

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) grabs a loose ball under pressure from Ohio State guard Celeste Taylor (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Cliff Jette)
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) grabs a loose ball under pressure from Ohio State guard Celeste Taylor (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, March 3, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Cliff Jette)
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Caitlin Clark scored 35 points in her final regular-season home game, becoming the NCAA’s all-time scoring leader in No. 6 Iowa’s 93-83 win over No. 2 Ohio State on Sunday.

Hannah Stuelke scored 23 points and Gabbie Marshall added 12 for the Hawkeyes (26-4, 15-3 Big Ten), who secured the No. 2 seed behind Ohio State in next week’s Big Ten Tournament. The regular-season champion Buckeyes (25-4, 16-2) had their 15-game winning streak snapped.

“I think you can say it's a statement,” Clark said when asked what the win means heading into the conference tournament. “But more than anything, it's just good momentum for our team going into the Big Ten Tournament. You never want to go into the Big Ten Tournament on a loss. So I think building off this is really important.”

Clark, who announced on Thursday that she would enter the WNBA draft after the season despite having another year of eligibility remaining, made two free throws with less than a second left in the first half to eclipse Pete Maravich's 3,667 career points. Clark has 3,685 points heading into the postseason.

The Hawkeyes were facing a similar scenario when they finished last season, when they defeated regular-season champion Indiana on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Clark. But there was no need for late drama as Iowa took control of this game in the first half.

“This conference is so incredible,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “Two top teams just battling it out right here in the Big Ten.”

The Hawkeyes went on an 18-3 run in the first quarter to take a 25-10 lead. Ohio State rallied in the second quarter to get within four points twice, and trailed 44-39 after Rikki Harris’ 3-pointer with seven seconds left before a wild sequence of events closed the half.

Stuelke was fouled on a layup attempt with three-tenths of a second left. McMahon was then called for a technical foul after the play for bumping Clark during the dead ball. Stuelke hit her two free throws, then Clark hit two to break Maravich’s record, and Iowa led 48-39 at halftime.

“Hannah stepping up and making two free throws was huge,” Clark said. “And then I make two. It kind of takes the air out of them after they had just gone down and made a layup.”

The Hawkeyes kept control in the second half, leading by as much as 17 points.

Jacy Sheldon led Ohio State with 24 points. Rebeka Mikulasilova had 14, Taylor Thierry had 11 and McMahon and Celeste Taylor each had 10 points.

The Buckeyes were outrebounded 38-31 and Iowa got 16 points off 17 Ohio State turnovers.

“We weren't good enough with our transition defense or our rebounding,” Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff said. “And we had some really costly turnovers they turned into points. I think that was the story of the game for the most part.”

“It stinks,” Sheldon said of the loss. “But now we can focus and get ready for the Big Ten Tournament.”

Kate Martin added 11 points for Iowa.

BIG PICTURE

Ohio State: There were times when the Buckeyes lost their composure — besides McMahon’s technical foul. Rikki Harris got a technical foul in the second half. Four of Clark’s points came off the technicals. “The players sometimes don't feel like they're getting officiated evenly, and they react,” McGuff said. “And as I tell them all of the time, we can't control that. We can control how we react and what we do, and we can learn from that.”

Iowa: The Hawkeyes might have suffered a serious loss for the postseason when guard Molly Davis was injured with 6:42 left in the first half. Davis, who has started 27 games this season and came in averaging 6.3 points per game, fell to the court and grabbed her knee. She was carried from the court. Davis, who played a key role in Iowa’s run to the national championship game last season, came out for the Senior Day ceremonies after the game in a wheelchair with her right leg completely wrapped up. Bluder said she would know the extent of Davis' injury on Monday.

UP NEXT

Ohio State: At Big Ten Tournament on Friday

Iowa: At Big Ten Tournament on Friday

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball