Well, it’s finally here.
The Iowa women’s basketball team will make its first Final Four appearance since 1993 when they face defending national champion South Carolina (36-0) tonight at approximately 8:30 on ESPN.
It’s undoubtedly the biggest challenge the Hawkeyes (30-6) have faced this season. The Gamecocks have won 42 games since last year’s NCAA Tournament, and they look to extend that streak tonight.
Further:How to watch, stream and listen to Iowa women’s basketball in the NCAA Final Four
It will be a matchup between two superstars in Iowa’s Kaitlyn Clark, the reigning Naismith Player of the Year, and Aaliyah Boston, who won the award a season ago. The Hawkeyes come in as an 11.5-point underdog. According to DiBico Sports. It was not a place they often met.
Follow along with this live blog as we bring you up-to-the-minute updates on what’s happening on the court in Dallas as the Hawkeyes look to make a trip to their first national championship game.
Iowa moved up to two with a 9.9.
Caitlin Clark made two free throws to bring her points total to 39, a national semifinal record for a player.
SC answers at the other end. But Gamecox must send someone to the line by mistake.
Iowa’s lead was cut to just two
Aliyah Baston sank one of two free throws to cut the Hawkeyes’ lead to 71-69 with 1:37 left.
South Carolina is undefeated in 389 days. Will tonight change?
South Carolina in the bonus, Clark frowning after the fall
From now on send every Iowa Foul Iowa Gamecocks to the line. Only 1:42 left and the Hawkeyes lead 71-68.
Caitlin Clark appears to be clutching her left elbow after falling to the ground trying to retrieve the ball.
Iowa 67, South Carolina 64
Monica Sinano fouled out four times and Caitlin Clark three times. He drilled a crucial 3-pointer that was now the difference in the game. It was her fifth night. Clark had 33 points, eight assists and six boards.
Media remains in Gamecox’s possession at the end of the deadline. 5:52 left here.
Result 3: Iowa 59, South Carolina 55
Iowa hit a buzzer-beater to extend its lead to four points, but South Carolina wasn’t going to quit. GameCox is down in the fourth quarter for the second time this season, so who knows how they’ll handle that kind of pressure on the game’s biggest stage.
If the Hawkeyes start drilling 3-pointers, this game is over. They were just 5-of-17 on the night from long range. A few more of them go inside, and South Carolina can’t fight back with their poor shooting (2-for-15) from beyond the arc.
We are only 10 minutes away from the first trip to the national title game in program history. Can they hold off South Carolina’s charge?
Rebounding becomes a big issue for Iowa
The Hokies are now out 35-17 on the night. The lead continues to shrink and is now down to two points. Iowa needs to get some boards or start hitting 3-pointers.
Caitlin Clarke was out of luck tonight
Three of the superstar’s deep 3-pointers missed the rim, but he still scored 23 points. She was 3-for-11 from long range. Even on a non-shooting night, it shows how ridiculous a player can be by her standards. The Hawkeyes lead by six points at a media timeout under 5 in the third quarter.
Three fouls by Monica Sinano, Aliyah Boston
Iowa post player goes to bench. It will be interesting to see how the Iowa offense performs without her.
South Carolina’s big time player is on the floor, but he didn’t score any points tonight.
The second half is underway
There’s a long way to go in this tight game, but if Iowa holds off the reigning national champions, they’ll earn a spot in the national title game for the first time in program history.
Half: Iowa 38, South Carolina 37
This game certainly lives up to its billing. The Hawkeyes got off to a hot start but South Carolina pulled away. There were six lead changes at the end of the second quarter.
South Carolina’s rebounding lead extends to 23-12 and the Gamecocks sit at 11-3 in the offensive class. South Carolina outscored Iowa 24-16 in the second quarter.
All in all, Iowa fans should be very happy with the first 20 minutes of basketball. Clark has 19 points and six assists so far. But one thing to note: South Carolina mounted that comeback with their best player on the bench. Boston and Clark both go into the second half with two fouls. It will be an interesting story to watch in the next 20 minutes.
Caitlin Clarke points out and Camcox finds the legs
Clark does what he does best: score and find his open teammates. He already has 16 points and five assists. But South Carolina would weather the storm, outscoring the Hawkeyes 14-9 in the second period after a 5-under media timeout.
They are getting a lot of boards and are now outscoring Iowa 17-9 in the game. Their depth could also cause problems for Iowa. The Gamecocks have 11 bench points and the Hawkeyes have 0.
Iowa goes up 31-27
Gamecock blows repeatedly
South Carolina went on a 6-0 run in the final 17 seconds, including two layups and additional foul shots. Caitlin Clark picked up her second foul.
Result 1: Iowa 22, South Carolina 13
Clark led the way with 11 points and Monica Sinano had six more. The Hawkeyes hit all four of their last attempts from the field.
Iowa went 10-7 and 5-3 in the offensive class. It’s not great, but it’s nowhere near the dominance that Gamecox usually has in that field.
Two mistakes already in Boston
The Hawkeyes went on a 7-0 run to lead 20-11. They also fouled superstar Aaliyah Boston for the second time and she headed to the bench.
Clark drills one deep
Caitlin Clark hit her first 3-pointer of the night and Aaliyah Boston drew a foul on her.
The Hawkeyes led 11-6 with just over four minutes left in the opening frame. But hockey fans beware. South Carolina has been known to get off to slow starts early in this matchup, so they could go on a tear quickly.
A few jitters in the beginning
It took more than two minutes for both teams to get on the board, but Caitlin Clark finally broke the deadlock with a layup. It’s still early, but how Iowa handles South Carolina on the glass will be something to watch. We’re almost five minutes into the game and GameCox doesn’t even have an attack board.
We are underway
South Carolina wins the tip and the Hawkeyes’ trip to the Final Four is underway. Let’s be a little happier.
The opening sequence looks like what you’d expect
Support in Dallas is close to split
Our reporters on the ground at the Final Four say the packed house to watch this game is very divided. The Hawkeyes might have a little more noise, but fans of both teams traveled to the Lone Star State.
Iowa women’s basketball heads to Dallas
It’s almost here. The Hawkeyes are now on the court for the biggest game of their lives.
LSU takes first place in Sunday’s title game
The Tigers topped Virginia Tech 79-72 in the first national semifinal. If the Hokies can pull off a stunning upset tonight at South Carolina, they will lead LSU and three-time national title-winning coach Kim Mulkey to a national championship on Sunday afternoon.
Now it takes about 30 minutes to see the Hawkeyes.
How to watch the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Final Four
We’re 30 minutes away from the scheduled tipoff between the Hawkeyes and Gamecocks. The real fun begins with this live blog.
Even if you’re not lucky enough to be in Dallas, if you can still sit down and watch the game on TV, you can tune in to ESPN to catch the action.
Hawkeyes are comfortable with a laid-back mentality
Iowa isn’t particularly used to coming into the game playing the underdog role this season. After all, they are the No. 3 team in the nation in the most recent coaches poll. However, GameCox is a different beast and was a double-digit favorite tonight.
However, that didn’t worry the Hawkeyes. Our women’s basketball beat writer Dargan Southard spoke to the players about it. Here’s what sharpshooter Gabby Marshall had to say.
“I personally love being the underdog. We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to prove. Going out and knowing we’ve got nothing to lose, (South Carolina) should have won this game. We’ve got to play hard to win that game.
“It’s going to be hard, but we can do it.”
Check out the rest of that story below.
Further:With ‘nothing to lose, everything to prove’, Iowa women’s basketball heads into South Carolina clash
A battle of superstars between Iowa and South Carolina
Iowa and Gamecox both have superstars on the roster that have caught the nation’s attention over the past two years. The Hawkeyes boast Naismith Player of the Year Kaitlyn Clark, while South Carolina has last year’s POY in Aaliyah Boston.
The two play very different spots on the floor, with Clark dominating from the perimeter while Boston is a threat in the paint. However, they are the players that make their teams tick. Check out what each of them brings to the table in the story below.
Further:Comparing Superstars: How Iowa’s Kaitlyn Clark Matches Up Against South Carolina’s Aaliyah Boston
The Hawkeyes have been here for 30 years
This marks only the second trip to the Final Four in program history for the Iowa women’s basketball team. The first was in 1993, before this live blogger was even born.
Earlier this week, our staff looked at both Iowa teams’ paths to the Final Four. Watch the story below.
Further:Iowa women’s basketball reached the Final Four in 1993. How do their runs compare?
LSU hosts Virginia Tech at 6 p.m
The Hawkeyes don’t land for two hours, but fans can make an early scouting report on a potential national title game opponent by taking in this game.
Also, keep an eye on LSU coach Kim Mulkey. Not only is he a three-time national title-winning coach, he’s also a fashion icon. The dress she is wearing tonight matches her granddaughter Sage.