Iowa prodigy Caitlin Clark sinks game-winning shot from midcourt to conclude impressive 40-point performance.

Caitlin Clark had confidence in her shot at the buzzer, even though she launched it from the Hawkeyes logo near midcourt. Her coach, Lisa Bluder, also believed in her abilities. “Caitlin has incredible composure,” Bluder said. “Everyone is aware of it.” Once again, Clark proved her prowess with a long three-pointer as time expired, securing 40 points and a 76-73 victory for the No 4 Hawkeyes over Michigan State on Tuesday night.

Clark, who leads the nation in scoring, had a challenging game, going 14 of 34 from the field and experiencing a scoring drought for over 14 minutes in the second and third quarters. However, the Hawkeyes managed to get her the ball in the final seconds, despite being far away from the basket. Clark received the pass from Hannah Stuelke and made a 30-foot shot as the buzzer sounded. “Honestly, when I released the ball, I knew it would go in,” Clark said.

The Hawkeyes (14-1, 3-0 Big Ten) extended their winning streak to 11 games, thanks to outstanding performances by Clark and Stuelke, who contributed 15 points. Michigan State (11-3, 1-2) tied the game at 73 with 22 seconds remaining, but the Hawkeyes strategically worked the clock down and found an opportunity for Clark. Stuelke momentarily lost control of the ball but managed to recover and pass it to Clark.

Clark believes that her slight fumble might have worked in her favor. She explained, “I think it actually helped because my defender (Michigan State’s Moira Joiner) almost went for the steal. This gave me the chance to execute my favorite step-back shot to the left.” This remarkable buzzer-beater mirrored her performance against Indiana in last season’s regular-season finale. As the sellout crowd cheered, Clark ran to the opposite end of the court, arms outstretched in celebration.

Michigan State coach Robyn Fralick acknowledged that her team defended the final play well. “She made an incredibly difficult shot,” Fralick said. Clark started strong, scoring 19 of Iowa’s first 33 points. However, she experienced a scoreless period from the second quarter’s six-minute mark until the third quarter’s 1:32 mark, allowing the Spartans to build a six-point lead. Clark then scored eight points in just 70 seconds, resulting in a tied score of 55 at the end of the quarter.

The game began with Michigan State’s 8-0 run, which Iowa answered with a 14-0 run. The Hawkeyes established a 10-point lead late in the first quarter but struggled to maintain their offense afterward. They shot only 25% in the second quarter, allowing the Spartans to close the half with a 9-0 run and take a 37-35 lead. “That second quarter was one of the worst I’ve seen from Iowa basketball,” Bluder expressed. “I was frustrated that we stopped executing our offense, which allowed them to make a comeback.”

Julia Ayrault scored 16 points for the Spartans, while Hagemann contributed 14 points. Joiner and Ozment each added 10 points.

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