Caitlin Clark achieves her revenge and puts Iowa in the NCAA semifinals with 41 points | Basketball | Sports

Rivalries make sport great. Cristiano Ronaldo against Messi; Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird. Saving the distance, in American women’s college basketball a confrontation of talent, quality and personality has been created in the last two years. On one side, Caitlin Clark, the highest university scorer in history, leading Iowa. On the other, Angel Reese, willing to assume the role of the villain against the heroine, revolutionizing Louisiana (LSU). This Monday, Clark was unstoppable and with 41 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds, she led her team to victory (94-87), leaving the current champions out and qualifying for the semifinals.

In the finals a year ago, when LSU pulled away, Reese showed Clark during the game the finger where he was going to put the championship ring, in what some considered a lack of sportsmanship. Angel Reese, who was baptized the Barbie of the Swamps, Always very well-groomed, she felt comfortable in that role. Before this Monday’s game, both were reminded of their rivalry.

“I don’t think people realize it’s not personal,” Reese said. “I think people take it as if we hate each other. Caitlin Clark and I don’t hate each other. I want everyone to understand it. It’s just a super competitive game. “Once I get between those lines, there are no friends,” she continued. “That’s ok. I will take on the role of villain. I’ll take the hit for that, but I know we’re growing women’s basketball. If this is the way we’re going to do it, then this is the way we’re going to do it. You either like it or you don’t like it.”

“There’s definitely that competitive fire,” Clark admitted. “We both want to win more than anything, and that’s how it should be when you’re a competitor and you get into a situation like this, whether it’s the national championship, whether it’s the Elite Eight (quarterfinals, like the game this Monday )”.

True to her style, Caitlin Clark assumed the weight of the match at all times. Her stratospheric three-pointers made the difference. LSU dedicated a special marking to her, but there was no way to stop her. When she couldn’t shoot three, she looked for the drive to the basket. When two rivals overwhelmed her, she found a way to provide an assist. Sydney Affolter and Kate Martin supported her in attack.

It was an even and exciting game in the first half, which ended with a tie at 45. After the break, Clark’s barrage of three-pointers and assists allowed Iowa to pull away. The third quarter (24-13) for Iowa gave the Hawkeyes peace of mind, but the game was still alive. The Louisiana team got within 6 points at the beginning of the second quarter, but Clark’s stratospheric three-pointers served to keep their rivals at bay. He continued scoring from where the rest did not even dare to try.

With 1:45 left in the game, Angel Reese, who had suffered a sprained ankle in the first half, was eliminated after committing a foul in attack. Iowa fans sent her off with relief. The occasional villain went to the bench with 17 points, 20 rebounds, 4 assists and three blocks.

With a 10-point difference on the scoreboard, the sentence was handed down. Clark’s revenge had been consummated. Surely, the two players will cross paths again in the WNBA, the professional league, starting next season.

In the final four, the clear betting favorite is Kamilla Cardoso’s undefeated South Carolina. Iowa would only face South Carolina if both win their respective semifinals.

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