Clark scores 29 as No. 5 Iowa rolls past Purdue Fort Wayne
ESTERO, Fla. (AP) — Caitlin Clark scored 29 points and moved into the top 20 of Division I’s all-time scoring list, and No. 5 Iowa eased past Purdue Fort Wayne 98-59 in the quarterfinals of the Gulf Coast Showcase on Friday night.
Clark finished the night with 2,901 career points. She passed Jess Kovatch (2,874) and Maddy Siegrist (2,896) during the game, and has gone from 37th to 19th on the all-time list already this season — now within 626 points of Kelsey Plum’s Division I record of 3,527.
Sharon Goodman scored 16 points and Hannah Stuelke had 13 points before leaving with an injury for Iowa (5-1). Clark finished with eight assists.
Amellia Bromenschenkel led the Mastadons (2-2) with 16 points.
Iowa now plays in Saturday’s semifinals against Florida Gulf Coast (4-1) — an 83-68 winner over Delaware earlier Friday.
It was the 499th win of coach Lisa Bluder’s tenure at Iowa and the 855th of her 40-year career, giving her outright possession of 13th place on the women’s basketball all-division coaching list. Clark made six 3's and passed USC Upstate's Dakota Reeves for the most among active players — she has 371, Reeves has 369.
That means Clark now is the active women's college leader in points, scoring average, 3’s made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, assists and triple doubles.
As if playing against Clark and the Hawkeyes wasn’t daunting enough, FGCU has a limited amount of time to get ready. There’s a 9:30 a.m. shootaround Saturday, and from there, the Eagles will hope for the best.
“It’s a great opportunity,” FGCU’s Maddie Antenucci said.
Iowa saw well over 1,000 fans wearing their black and gold colors in the stands for its Gulf Coast opener — temperatures being in the mid-70s in southwest Florida on Friday as opposed to hovering around freezing in Iowa City might have influenced some travel plans — and now will play an FGCU team that has its home campus just a couple miles away from the tourney site.
“There’ll be more black jerseys in the stands than I’m used to for a home game,” FGCU coach Karl Smesko said.
Potentially looming for Iowa on Sunday: A rematch with No. 16 Kansas State, the team that beat the Hawkeyes 65-58 just last week. Each team is just a Saturday win away from making that happen.
Kansas State is also in this field and beat Western Kentucky 77-61 in Friday’s first game; it’ll now play No. 18 North Carolina in a Saturday semifinal. The Tar Heels needed a 15-3 run in the final 4:02 to beat Vermont 54-51 on Friday.
Purdue Fort Wayne: The Mastadons fell to 1-30 all-time against Big Ten opponents. They hung tough early Friday — it was 13-13 after 4 minutes — and a 6-0 run late in the half cut Iowa's lead to 47-36. But Clark opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer for a 19-point lead and Purdue Fort Wayne got no closer.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes lost Stuelke early in the fourth quarter after she scored inside and went down without any noticeable contact. She got up and went to the bench, where a member of the Iowa medical staff appeared to be tending to the back of her right leg. Stuelke eventually went to the locker room area — needing assistance — for further evaluation.
Purdue Fort Wayne: Faces Delaware in the consolation round on Saturday.
Iowa: Faces Florida Gulf Coast in the semifinals on Saturday.
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