Caitlin Clark overcomes slow start to lead Iowa past Holy Cross

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Caitlin Clark struggled to make shots early but finished with 27 points and 10 assists as the Iowa women defeated Holy Cross 91-65 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

Kate Martin had a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds for the first-seeded Hawkeyes (30-4) in the Albany 2 Region. Iowa advances to the second round to face either No. 8 West Virginia or No. 9 Princeton on Monday.

Clark, a unanimous Associated Press All-American selection, shot just 8-of-19 from the field and 3-of-9 on 3-pointers, showing frustration with several missed shots during the game.

She continued to complain to authorities, and at one point, her father, Brent, on camera, told her to stop.

“I need to smile more. I'm a competitor,” said Clark, who banged his head in frustration during a basketball game. “I love this game. I'm a perfectionist.”

Clark finished with his 65th career double-double and added eight rebounds.

She got off to a slow start, not making her first field goal until 22 seconds into the first quarter. She committed five turnovers in the first eight minutes.

Iowa had a similar start. The Hawkeyes had a 10-0 run midway through the first quarter that didn't bother the Crusaders, who pulled within 23-21 at the end of the quarter.

The Hawkeyes outscored Holy Cross 25-9 in the second quarter, holding the Crusaders to 1-of-12 shooting. Clark finally made his first 3-pointer with 3:26 left in the first half, shaking his head and rolling his eyes after making the shot.

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Holy Cross (21-13) hit 12 3-pointers in Thursday's 72-45 First Four win over UT-Martin, but was just 7-of-34 from 3-pointers in the game, including just three in the second half. The Crusaders missed their first 10 shots of the fourth quarter and shot just 32.4% from the field.

Addison O'Grady had 14 points and Gabby Marshall had 11 points for the Hawkeyes. Iowa's second-leading rebounder, Hannah Stulke, had a 50-37 rebounding edge despite playing just 10 minutes.

Bronagh Power-Cassidy had 19 points for Holy Cross. Janelle Allen is 18 years old.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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