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Caitlin Clark happens, but NC State beats Iowa, 94-81

The Pack delivered its most impressive performance of the season in a big spot.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NC State at Connecticut Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Caitlin Clark did what Caitlin Clark does, which is score points in bunches, but it was NC State that had the better collective effort and got the victory as a result. Clark was nothing short of fantastic, particularly in carrying her team back into the game in the fourth quarter, but the Wolfpack had answers.

Diamond Johnson provided a lot of those down the stretch, as Iowa could not stay in front of her. Seemingly every time Clark made a play, Johnson did the same. It was DJ rebounding and scoring her own miss with 90 seconds left to put State up 10 that finally broke Iowa’s back.

Four Factors

... NC State Iowa
... NC State Iowa
eFG% 60.8 52.5
TO% 13.9 20.3
OR% 23.3 20.6
FTR 30.8 40.7
PPP 1.19 1.03

Pace and Efficiency

Iowa 81 79 102.5 119.0
NC State 94 79 119.0 102.5

NC State outscored Iowa 31-28 in the fourth quarter—10 minutes of really impressive high-level offensive basketball. The Wolfpack held a 10-point edge going into the period that Iowa managed to whittle to four, but the Hawkeyes got no closer. Clark scored 15 in the quarter, and Johnson had 13.

The Hawkeyes just didn’t get much out of anybody not named Clark, who finished with 45 points. She shot 16-28 from the field, while her teammates were 11-31.

State, meanwhile, got 22 points from Johnson on 8-12 shooting, 22 from Saniya Rivers on 9-11 shooting, 17 from Jakia Brown-Turner on 6-13 shooting, and 12 from Jada Boyd on 6-12 shooting. After a sluggish first quarter, the Pack scored at least 24 points in every other quarter.

And State’s defense really wasn’t bad: giving up 81 points on 79 possessions to this Iowa team is a solid effort.

It’s a big, validating win for this Wolfpack group, which looked the part of a top-five team. To get this done on the road in front of a big, hostile crowd was very impressive, and you can bet this win will look as good in March as it does now.

Congrats, ladies. Light it red, Chancellor Woodson!