Caitlin Clark's big basket ignites fourth-quarter comeback as Iowa edges Nebraska

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY, Ia. — Caitlin Clark controlled the fourth quarter, as usual, for the Iowa women's basketball team Saturday to secure a vital 83-75 victory over Nebraska in the regular-season finale at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

It was Clark's 3-pointer with 8 minutes and 12 seconds remaining that gave the Hawkeyes the lead for good at 65-63. But credit Kate Martin for chasing down the rebound of Clark's initial miss on that sequence, a hustle play that seemed to inspire an Iowa team that was struggling to defend up to that point. Martin led Iowa with five assists, none bigger than that one.

Clark finished with 35 points, 25 of them in the second half. Iowa pulled away to pick up a needed game in the Big Ten Conference standings, with tournament play looming.

Gabbie Marshall added 14 points for Iowa. McKenna Warnock had 12.

Iowa (15-8, 11-8 Big Ten) trailed by a single possession at the end of each quarter before Clark's big basket ignited a 9-0 run for a window of separation.

Nebraska (11-11, 9-10) started to foul Hawkeye players when they become more aggressive about getting to the basket. Iowa made 14 of 15 free throws to help its cause

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) makes a basket as Nebraska guard Ashley Scoggin defends during a NCAA Big Ten Conference women's basketball game, Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

The Cornhuskers led 37-34 at halftime as the Hawkeyes missed their final seven shots and went scoreless for 4 minutes, 23 seconds. Iowa center Monika Czinano struggled, making just one of her six shots. The Hawkeyes turned to their guards for scoring. Clark contributed 10 points and Marshall had nine, making 3 of 4 3-pointers.

The Hawkeyes next travel to Indianapolis for the Big Ten tournament beginning Wednesday.

Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at memmert@registermedia.com or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.