Iowa Elite: Hawkeyes Down Buffs to Advance to Elite Eight

ALBANY, New York – The top-seeded University of Iowa women’s basketball team led for all but 14 seconds in an 89-68 blasting of fifth-seeded Colorado on Saturday afternoon at MVP Arena. The Hawkeyes, who have advanced to their sixth Elite 8 in program history, defeated the Buffaloes in back-to-back years in the Sweet Sixteen.

All five starters finished in double figures with All-American Caitlin Clark leading the way, recording her 66th career double-double with 29 points, 15 assists and six rebounds. She was 13-of-22 from the floor with three 3-point field goals.

Junior Sydney Affolter, who has finished in double figures in five of the last six games, added 15, and sophomore Hannah Stuelke recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds – her second straight double-double. Kate Martin finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Gabbie Marshall went 4-for-5 from the behind the arc, finishing with 14 points.

“I’m proud of the way that we played today. I thought we played really good team basketball,” said P. Sue Beckwith, MD, Head Women’s Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder. “We got everybody involved. We had five people in double figures and did a great job on the boards. They only got four offensive rebounds in the whole second half. I’m proud of my group. Caitlin comes out and has 15 assists, only two turnovers.

“I thought there’s so many people that played well in this game. Syd Affolter has the highest plus/minus of anybody, Gabbie Marshall knocks down 3s, Kate Martin her leadership out there was unbelievable. Hannah Stuelke didn’t let their center have a single O-board. That’s hard to do. That’s really hard to do.”

The Hawkeyes got off to a hot start with a 9-3, run in the first two minutes. Iowa continued the momentum throughout the first, closing out the quarter with a 22-14 lead. Clark led the way with six points and six assists.

Martin had a quick layup to start the second followed by an and-one from Stuelke to give the Hawkeyes a 13-point lead. The Buffaloes were able to close to within eight in the second, but Iowa kept the momentum, taking a 48-35 lead into the break.

The Hawkeyes went on a 6-0 to start the second half, forcing a Colorado timeout. The Buffaloes responded with back-to-back buckets, but Iowa took control, maintaining a double digit lead throughout the half. Iowa had a 22 point advantage (69-47) heading into the fourth.

“That’s what we talked about in the locker room at halftime, is to come out and dominate that third quarter from the start and that’s exactly what we did, we forced them to use a time-out,” said Clark. “I thought we really controlled the game. Once we got that lead, we were able to sustain it. Even when they went on a few runs, we were able to switch up our player defense, our zone defense — that caused them a few problems.

“Overall I just thought we executed offensively, whether it was in zone, whether it was in man-to-man, whether it was in transition, and then we did a great job on defense. It was a complete basketball game is what it felt like.”

Iowa maintained at least a 20-point lead throughout the fourth to give the program its second straight Elite 8 appearance. The 21-point win is the largest margin of victory in a Sweet Sixteen game in program history.


  • No. 1 seed Iowa (32-4) dropped No. 5 seed Colorado (24-9), 89-68, inside a sold-out MVP Arena on Saturday afternoon to advance to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Iowa broke its program record for most wins in school history. (32)
  • Iowa’s 21-point win was the largest margin of victory in the Sweet 16 in program history. (18+, NC State, 2019)
  • Iowa set a program record for most points scored in a Sweet 16 contest.
  •  The 32 wins ties Maryland (2016-17) for the fourth most in Big Ten history.
  • National Player of the Year candidate, Caitlin Clark, broke the program record for most assists in a single NCAA Tournament game. (15)
  •  Clark broke the NCAA’s all-time field goal record.
  •  Lisa Bluder is 1-of-27 Division I women’s basketball coaches to win 20+ games in the NCAA Tournament at one institution.
  • This marks Iowa’s sixth trip to the Elite Eight in program history and third under Bluder.
  •  Iowa’s roster has played a total of 91 NCAA Tournament games in their careers, the most of any team left in the field.
  •  The Hawkeyes have been to the Sweet 16 three times since 2019.
  •  Iowa has made 63 3-point field goals in postseason play.
  •  Since 2019, the Hawkeyes are 14-4 in the NCAA Tournament.
  •  Over the last two seasons, Iowa is 18-2 in a tournament setting.
  •  Bluder has the 10th most wins in Division-I women’s basketball history and is third among active DI head coaches. (882)
  • Bluder is 21-17 all-time in NCAA Tournaments at Iowa.
  •  Iowa is 5-2 all-time in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 Seed.
  •  Iowa is 6-4 all-time in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
  •  Gabbie Marshall broke Monika Czinano’s games played record at the University of Iowa. (163)
  •  Marshall is 24-of-47 from deep over the last six games.
  •  Clark, Marshall and Martin have started 132 games together, the second-most of any trio over the last 25 seasons.
  •  Clark registered her 66th career double-double.
  •  Iowa has won four straight against Colorado dating back to 2014.
  •  Clark is the second player in NCAA Tournament history to amass 350+ points and 115+ assists in career. (14 games)
  •  Clark has recorded 10+ assists in 7-of-14 career NCAA Tournament games which is the best in school history.
  •  Clark’s seven games of 10+ assists in the NCAA Tournament, ties Baylor’s Niya Johnson since 2009.
  •  Over the last two seasons, Iowa has won 63 games which is the best two-year stretch in program history.
  •  The Hawkeyes have made 397 treys this season, which is a Big Ten single season record.
  •  Sydney Affolter is 21-of-22 from the free throw line in the last six games.
  •  Hannah Stuelke registered her third double-double of the season and fourth of her career.
  •  Among active players who didn’t transfer, Marshall (127) and Martin (124) are third and fourth nationally for most active wins in a career.
  •  Clark leads the country in 20+ point games this season with 36.
  •  Clark is the only player in the country with 1,100+ points, 300+ assists, and 240+ rebounds this season.
  •  Clark has scored 20+ points in 121-of-136 career games which is the most in program history.
  •  Clark kept her streak alive of 92 consecutive games making a 3-point basket. (NCAA best)
  •  Clark is the first Division-I men’s or women’s player to record 3,800+ points, 1,100+ assists, and 950+ rebounds in a career.

The Hawkeyes will face third-seeded LSU in the Elite Eight on Monday in Albany at MVP Arena. The regional championship is set to tipoff at 6:15 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on ESPN.