Women’s Basketball: Iowa Moves Ahead After Beating Georgia

Women’s Basketball: Iowa Moves Ahead After Beating Georgia

What a sweet victory: Women's basketball for Iowa defeats Georgia and moves on to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament

What a sweet victory: Women’s basketball for Iowa defeats Georgia and moves on to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

On Sunday, March 19, 2023, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City during the NCAA March Madness, fans of Iowa went nuts as they supported the Hawkeyes during the game’s opening quarter versus Georgia.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena was invaded by the infamously anxious vibe that manifests when college basketball seasons are almost over before they’re supposed to, almost as if it knew its way around.

The Hawkeyes “righted the wrong” in 2023 by defeating 10th-seeded Georgia, 74-66, and punching their ticket to the Sweet 16 in Seattle after the Iowa women’s basketball team was eliminated by 10th-seeded Creighton in the second round at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the NCAA Tournament in 2022.

Sweet Victory

Even though Iowa had difficulties, it still managed to win. No wonder basketball is one of the favorites in the list, ranking the best sports team in Iowa.

Although their performance against No. 10 seed Georgia in front of a packed house was far from perfect, No. 2 seed Iowa women’s basketball advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third time in the previous four NCAA Tournaments.

“We stayed composed when things were going a little haywire,” fifth-year guard Kate Martin said. “I think that just shows our veteran makeup and that we really wanted to win this game. That shows other teams in this tournament that you can’t break our circle.”

Caitlin Clark’s Contribution

On Sunday, the Hawkeyes primarily used their five starting players, with junior guard Caitlin Clark playing all 40 minutes.

“I really did not want to let this team lose again in this round,” Clark expressed. “And I knew I needed to step up and make plays for this team. And I thought I was able to pick up their zone with my eyes and get the ball inside.”

Clark was a playmaker the whole game, contributing to 31 of Iowa’s 33 second-half points while tallying 22 points and handing out 12 assists.

“I think anytime you are one of 16 teams that get to play basketball, it’s pretty special,” Clark added. “But it wasn’t a huge part of our celebration in the locker room. This wasn’t our goal. It’s one of our steps to reaching our goal, but it’s not the end-all-be-all for us. This is the first weekend, and we won, and now we have a second weekend. And we hope there’s a third weekend, too.”

Healing the Team for the Next Match

Due in part to the unavailability of freshman Hannah Stuelke, Iowa had 0 bench points. Due to an ankle injury received in Saturday’s practice, Stuelke, the Hawkeyes’ first player off the bench, could not participate on Sunday.

Stuelke should be accessible for the Hawkeyes’ Sweet 16 match on Friday in Seattle.

Early in the first quarter, senior guard Molly Davis also sustained an injury. As a result, she was limited to just two minutes of action. Davis should be okay, according to Bluder, who added that she hadn’t heard anything negative regarding Davis’ health.

About this, Bluder declared, “… It’s just unfortunate that Hannah went down. Obviously, when Molly went down right away, I mean, it’s just one of those things; but honestly, our players never hung their head; they never got upset.”

With its fourth Sweet 16 appearance since 2015 and it’s ninth overall, Iowa will now play the winner of No. 3 Duke and No. 6 Colorado in Seattle on Friday. Again, the Hawkeyes corrected their error, but they have higher goals this year.

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