Iowa’s Caitlin Clark with high praise for Aliyah Boston after Final Four game

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Joshua Boucher/

South Carolina and Iowa’s Final Four matchup on Friday featured women’s basketball’s two most recent players of the year: Aliyah Boston and Caitlin Clark.

Clark was named the Naismith Player of the Year on Wednesday, with Boston winning it last year.

Clark was the shining star in Iowa’s 77-73 win on Friday with 41 points, eight assists and six rebounds.

Boston was mostly limited due to the two fouls she picked up in the first quarter, which kept her on the bench for the entirety of the second period. She ended the game with eight points and 10 rebounds on 2-9 shooting in 25 minutes.

After the game, Clark showed her respect to Boston and what she’s accomplished at South Carolina.

“Aliyah is a tremendous player,” Clark said. “They got some tough calls on her tonight. Maybe in a different game they’re not fouls.”

Boston and Clark played together in 2017 as members of the FIBA Americas U16 team. She got to see the rise of the USC star through her four years of college, with both of them now being the best in the sport.

“She was my teammate, and I know how great of a player she is but even a better person,” Clark said. “That’s why she’s going to be the No. 1 draft pick, as she should. It’s been fun to watch her success at South Carolina and what she’s been able to build there, and I truly mean that.”

Boston has the opportunity to return, as players who played in the COVID-19-mired 2020-21 season were granted an extra year of eligibility. She said she has not yet decided if she will return. The Indiana Fever have the first pick in the 2023 WNBA Draft.

South Carolina’s 42-game winning streak ended with the loss to the Hawkeyes.

Iowa will face LSU in the national championship game on Sunday.