Iowa moves on to its sixth Big Ten Tournament championship game and second in three seasons. The Hawkeyes won their third Big Ten Tournament title in 2019.
The Hawkeyes even their record in Big Ten Tournament semifinals at 6-6. Iowa won its second semifinal by double digits, along with an 87-53 victory over Indiana in 1997.
Iowa took a 40-30 series lead over Michigan State, including wins in five of the last seven meetings. The teams have also now split their four matchups at the Big Ten Tournament, with today’s game the first between the schools at the event since the 2010 semifinals, also won by the Hawkeyes, 59-54.
Big Ten Freshman of the Year Caitlin Clark registered her 21st 20-point game in 24 outings this season. Clark’s 11 assists tied for the fourth-most in a Big Ten Tournament game and most since Maryland’s Ashley Owusu had 11 in the 2020 Big Ten Tournament championship game against Ohio State.
Clark has 30 assists through three games of this year’s Big Ten Tournament, and nearly became the first player in tournament history with three consecutive double-digit assists games. She was one assist shy against Purdue in the second round on Wednesday. Clark is just the fourth player to record 30 assists in a single Big Ten Tournament. Iowa’s Samantha Logic holds the tournament record with 32 assists in 2014, while Nebraska’s Rachel Theriot had 30 that same year and Northwestern’s Ashley Deary reached that total in 2016.
Sophomore forward McKenna Warnock collected her fourth double-double of the season and sixth of her career with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Her six assists were also one off of her season high set against Northwestern on Jan. 28.
Friday’s win not only sets up a rematch of the 2019 Big Ten Tournament championship game (won by Iowa, 90-75), but also a sequel to one of this season’s most remarkable offensive displays — Maryland and Iowa combined for a Big Ten record-tying 32 three-pointers (including nine apiece for Clark and Maryland’s Katie Benzan) in the Terrapins’ 111-93 win on Feb. 23 in College Park.