Caitlin Clark had 28 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to power No. 9 Iowa to a 73-59 win over Oregon State in the semifinal round of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament on Friday night.
Monika Czinano added 17 points and McKenna Warnock contributed 12 to help the Hawkeyes (5-1) advance to the PKL championship game on Sunday, where they will face No. 3 UConn.
Talia von Oelhoffen led the Beavers (4-1) with 22 points, while Shalexxus Aaron scored 17 points as Oregon State picked up its first loss of the season. Jelena Mitrovic had 14 rebounds.
Iowa opened the game on a 9-0 run. Oregon State tied the game five times in the first half but never led. The Hawkeyes took a 44-37 lead into halftime.
Iowa stretched the advantage out in the second half, getting as high as 11 before Oregon State fought back to cut the lead to six in the fourth quarter. That was as close as they got, and the Hawkeyes stretched the lead out as high as 17 down the stretch.
“That third quarter was tough,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder. “We left too many empty possessions in that quarter. Thankfully, our defense was holding OK at that point.”
The Hawkeyes’ defense forced 14 Oregon State turnovers and held the Beavers to 35.5% shooting from the field.
“We knew what we were getting into, knowing Iowa was on the schedule,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said. “A great offensive team that tonight was also a very disruptive and very good defensive team. You’re playing a team that’s used to winning, a top-10 team, and they operate like that.”
The Beavers stuck around in the second half by outrebounding the Hawkeyes 37-35 and shot well from 3-point range, hitting six shots from deep.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes improved to 5-1 with the win over Oregon State and now move on to play in the PKL championship game.
Oregon State: The Beavers put up a solid effort against a top-10 team but picked up their first loss of the season.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes face No. 3 UConn in the PKL championship game on Sunday.
Oregon State: The Beavers play Duke on Sunday in the consolation game.