Caitlin Clark rallies Iowa past UConn 71-69 in women's Final Four. South Carolina awaits (Part-1)

Cleveland — Finally, Caitlin Clark succeeded. The most dynamic woman in college basketball was shut down in the first half and has one game left in her memorable career at Iowa. She'll strive to win the Hawkeyes their first national title.  

Iowa defeated Paige Bueckers and UConn 71-69 in the women's Final Four on Friday night thanks to Clark's 21 points and three second-half 3-pointers.  

In the national semifinals, Iowa (34-4) will face unbeaten South Carolina, which had a perfect record last year before losing to Iowa. The Hawkeyes lost the final to LSU.  

“South Carolina is the best. Their league is distinct. Clark promised to do everything possible to be with them. I think the most important thing is to relax tonight and go over the scout early in the morning.  

After a tough first 30 minutes against a swarming UConn defense, the NCAA Division I career scoring leader got rolling in the fourth quarter  

With the game tied at 51, Clark scored seven points in 2 1/2 minutes, including a step-back 3 to give Iowa a little lead. UConn (33-6) trimmed it to 60-57 before Iowa scored six straight to lead 66-57.  

Iowa led 70-66 before Nika Muhl's 3-pointer after a steal with 39.3 seconds left pulled the Huskies within one. Hannah Stuelke of Iowa turned it over with 10 seconds left. UConn had an opportunity to take the lead, but Aaliyah Edwards was penalized for an offensive foul laying a screen with 3.9 seconds left.  

Clark hit one free throw but missed two. The rebound went to Sydney Affolter after Stuelke tipped it and UConn tied her up, forcing a jump ball. The Hawkeyes won by throwing the ball in the air to run out the final seconds after the possession arrow kept it. Iowa's Stuelke led with 23 points. Clark had nine rebounds and seven assists.  

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