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No. 14 Indiana women stuns Caitlin Clark, No. 4 Iowa

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 22: Sara Scalia #14 of the Indiana Hoosiers shoots the ball in the second half while defended by Gabbie Marshall #24 of the Iowa Hawkeyes at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on February 22, 2024 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Most of the sold-out Assembly Hall crowd might have come to see the leading scorer in NCAA women’s college basketball history, but they stayed to watch the No. 14 Hoosiers upset the No. 4 Hawkeyes, 86-69.

Indiana completely shut down Caitlin Clark in the second half, holding her to just four points and running the lead up as high as 18 points. Clark finished with 24 total — her lowest of any Big Ten Conference game this season.

With the win, the Hoosiers stay undefeated at home this season — 17 straight victories in Bloomington.

The Hoosiers defense simply outplayed the Hawkeyes. IU’s physicality held Iowa to 23 points below their season average, which was a massive 90.7 points a game. The key was not necessarily shutting down Clark, but everyone else around her. Only two other Hawkeyes were in double-digits. Add that to the extra effort in face guarding Clark and a season-best nine blocks, the Hoosiers dominated defensively.

“I thought our guys from the jump got after it really, really defensively,” said Hoosiers head coach Teri Moren. “I think we made everything really difficult for Caitlin Clark tonight, and that’s hard to do.”

“Credit to Caitlin Clark. She’s a phenomenal player, a phenomenal scorer. We knew she was going to get hers. She was going to get 25, 30, 40, whatever it is. We had a goal in mind to make it an inefficient 30-40 points and two, keep the others out of it,” said Hoosiers graduate forward Mackenzie Holmes.

The full crowd of more than 17,000 people left an impression, not just on the visiting Hawkeyes, but on the hometown Hoosiers as well.

“We had an incredible crowd tonight,” Holmes said. “Hoosier Nation showed up for us in a big way, and I was just embracing it.”

Holmes finished with 24 points, nine rebounds, while Sara Scalia led the Hoosiers with 25 points, including three huge threes. Two of those triples came in the first five minutes of the game, which helped IU jump out to a lead they never gave back.

Between a “disappointing” 20-point loss to unranked Illinois Monday and last month’s 27-point defeat in Iowa, the Hoosiers were ready to prove their power and make a statement in the second match-up with the Hawkeyes. Mission accomplished.

“When you’re playing against the top teams in the Big Ten, and you know one loss, one win can switch up the standings, can switch up battling for a regular season title, that’s exactly what it should be,” Clark said. “That’s exactly what women’s basketball should be. It should be heated. “It should be that way. It’s because people care so much and care about winning, and that’s what makes it so fun.”

Indiana hits the road to battle Northwestern Tuesday before returning to Assembly Hall to host Maryland on March 3.