Iowa is moving on to the Sweet 16.

The 1-seed Hawkeyes found themselves in a defensive battle with 8-seed West Virginia on Monday night in Iowa City.

WVU sought to send Caitlin Clark packing, and the Mountaineers had the chance at the upset thanks to their physical, attacking defense.

The game was tied 52-52 with 2:55 to go, but Clark and the Hawkeyes pulled away down the stretch, and foul trouble caught up to West Virginia.

Here are 3 quick takeaways from the game:

A legend says farewell

While Senior Day was celebrated as Clark’s “last home game,” Monday’s game was Clark’s true Carver-Hawkeye Arena farewell. Those who have watched Clark knew she wasn’t going to let Iowa’s NCAA Tournament end in a home upset.

WVU had Iowa not looking like it usual self on offense. Clark, however, was not to be contained on her final night playing in front of the home Hawkeye crowd.

It wasn’t Clark’s best shooting night (8-of-22 field goals), but she scored half of her team’s points. Clark finished with 32 points, securing the single-season NCAA record at 1,013 points (and counting) in the 2023-24.

On a night not everything went as planned, Clark would not be denied a win in her home finale, and a return to the Sweet 16.

WVU defense dominates, Iowa displays some defense of its own

West Virginia’s defense was the story of the game, slowing an Iowa offense that averages over 92 points per game to just 64. The Mountaineers forced 15 turnovers, turning it into 19 points.

Iowa is used to beating opponents by lighting up the scoreboard. The Hawkeyes answered WVU’s dominant defense by playing some defense of their own.

Entering Monday, Iowa opponents averaged 71.7 points per game. While the Hawkeye defense benefitted from the change in pace, Iowa also showed some defensive improvement.

Season averages for Iowa opponents are 39.9% shooting from the field, making 26.3 field goals per game. The Mountaineers shot 3%, making 21-of-62 field-goal attempts.

WVU looked to the 3-ball, but shot just 26% from beyond the arc, making just 9-of-34 triples.

3-point shooting will have to be better, involve more players

Iowa shot 22 3-point attempts on Monday night. Caitlin Clark finished 5-of-14 from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes finished 5-of-22 from beyond the arc as a team.

Clark was the difference on Monday night in a defensive battle at home against an 8-seed opponent. As the Hawkeyes move on, though, they’re going to need someone besides Clark to make a 3-pointer in the Sweet 16, Elite 8 and Final Four.

No. 5-seed Colorado is up next, as a potential rematch with 3-seed LSU. If Clark is the only Hawkeye with a 3-pointer, Iowa will likely be in trouble.

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