Caitlin Clark scores 32 as No. 5 Iowa beats No. 16 Kansas State 77-70 for Gulf Coast Showcase title

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By Samantha Rose

Caitlin Clark scored 32 points, and No. 5 Iowa survived wasting a pair of double-digit leads before rallying to finally beat No. 16 Kansas State 77-70 in the championship game of the Gulf Coast Showcase on Sunday night.

Clark made seven 3-pointers, the last coming with 47 seconds left, to help ensure the Hawkeyes (7-1) would win and avenge a Nov. 16 loss to Kansas State. The Wildcats also beat Iowa last season.

Molly Davis added 13, while Kate Martin had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Iowa.

Serena Sundell and Ayoka Lee each scored 18 for Kansas State (6-1), and Zyanna Walker finished with 11. The Wildcats — who didn’t trail by more than 12 in either of their two wins over Iowa in the last two seasons — got themselves into a 13-point hole early, but used a 19-7 run to pull into a tie late in the half.

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And then Kansas State had to rally again, this time from 11 points down after Clark made a 3-pointer late in the third. Sundell threw up a beat-the-clock prayer that bounced in to end the third quarter, and Kansas State — fueled by holding Iowa to a 1-for-11 stretch from the floor — went on a 14-2 run and took the lead back on Gisela Sanchez’s three-point play with 2:44 remaining.

Martin then hit a layup to put Iowa back on top, and Clark scored Iowa’s next seven points.

Clark moved another spot — her fifth in three days — up the Division I all-time scoring list. She passed Appalachian State’s Valorie Whiteside (2,944) for 16th on the list, and has moved up 21 spots since the start of the season. Now at 2,954, she’s within 573 points of Kelsey Plum’s record of 3,527.

BIG PICTURE

Iowa: Clark’s sixth field goal gave her 964 in her career, one more than Syracuse’s Dyaisha Fair for the lead among all active women’s college players. That means Clark is now the active leader — among all divisions — in points, scoring average, field goals made, 3-pointers made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, assists, assist average and triple-doubles.

Kansas State: The Wildcats held Iowa to a 2-for-21 effort from 3-point range in their first meeting this month. The Hawkeyes were 12-for-32 from 3 on Sunday.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Iowa will likely remain in the top 5 of the AP Top 25 for the sixth consecutive week, which would be the third-longest streak in school history.

Kansas State should remain ranked for the second straight week. The Wildcats hadn’t made back-to-back appearances since Jan. 24 and 31, 2022 — and haven’t been in three straight polls since the final three of the 2016-17 season.

UP NEXT

Iowa: Hosts Bowling Green on Saturday.

Kansas State: Hosts Jackson State on Friday.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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