Caitlin Clark reminded fans that she is still human and extraordinary in the same game.

On Saturday, Iowa began its NCAA Tournament journey with a matchup against 16-seed Holy Cross. The Hawkeyes had a comfortable lead heading into halftime and were never on serious upset alert, but Clark had far from a smooth start to the game.

At one point, Clark was sent to the court with a hard elbow to the face while playing defense away from the ball. It did not appear to be an intentional blow but was a hard one nonetheless.

At the half, Clark was just 2-for-8 from the floor and had 6 turnovers to go with 2 fouls. The frustrations were clearly building as she was not afraid to get in the face of the officials while walking to the locker room at halftime.

Fortunately, Clark did have 7 assists in the first half with her teammates helping to pick up the slack before the break. Kate Martin had 11 points and 9 rebounds in the first half while Gabbie Marshall had 9 points on 3-for-5 shooting from deep.

The second half was a different story with Clark shooting an efficient 6-for-11 (2-for-4 from deep) without a turnover in the second half. She finished the second half with 14 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists to go with a block and 3 steals in just 13 minutes played after the break.

Why Clark’s “ordinary” outing still shines

When it was all said and done, Clark finished with 27 points and 6 turnovers, a bit worse than her usual numbers. Still, few players can have an off afternoon and flirt with a triple-double.

Clark finished with 10 assists and 8 rebounds to secure a double-double, giving her 4 straight dating back to the start of the B1G Tournament. Her last game without a double-double came against Ohio State when she delivered 35 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists in an electric outing.

At the end of the day, Clark shaking off a bit of rust in the opening round game could be a blessing in disguise. It’s hard to see Clark following that up with another rough start, especially considering the stakes on the line in the NCAA Tournament.

Now, Iowa will safely await its second-round matchup as Clark hopes to drive the Hawkeyes to another Final Four. Fans can continue to track all the March Madness odds through Tradition’s Ohio sports betting links and apps.