Iowa women’s basketball gives Ohio State its first loss behind Caitlin Clark’s triple-double

Although Ohio State has spent the last few months showing why they belong among the elite in women’s basketball, it was Lisa Bluder’s veteran squad from Iowa who shone brightest among all viewers on Monday.

The No. 10 Hawkeyes built an early cushion that held up as the offense went cold late in the third quarter, then leaned on the program pillars to bring home the win. Sparked by Caitlin Clark’s eighth career triple-double, Iowa’s end product was an 83-72 win over the No. 2 Buckeyes (19-1, 8-1 Big Ten Conference). That ended Ohio State’s winning streak of 19.

“Hopefully that means we’re one of the top five teams in the country,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said on the post-game radio show. “That’s where this team set its goals.”

In a packed Value City Arena in front of an ESPN2 audience, Iowa (16-4, 8-1) was rarely fazed on the street. Even with a late break that left the Hawkeyes nearly six minutes without a point to end the third quarter, Iowa never gave up the lead after the opening minutes of the second quarter.

Iowa's Caitlin Clark (22) celebrates a three-pointer with Monika Czinano (right) in the first half of Monday's game in Columbus, Ohio.

With a 56-44 lead reduced to a two-point lead, there were plenty of signs that a surge in Ohio State’s degree was on the horizon. Monika Czinano was in more late foul trouble. The Buckeyes’ press intensified. All with starter McKenna Warnock in street clothes after suffering a rib cage injury against Michigan State.

Iowa didn’t allow it.

“(Ohio State) fought back,” Bluder said. “We’re two up at the start of the fourth quarter and I said to our team, ‘Okay, you just have to win the game by two points. You don’t have to win it with more than that.’”