Women's basketball: Hawkeyes cruise into round two

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Mar. 17—IOWA CITY — Caitlin Clark finished three rebounds shy of a postseason triple-double, scoring a game-high 26 points while dishing out a game-high 12 assists to pace the second-seeded Iowa women's basketball team to a 95-43 win over Southeastern Louisiana in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday afternoon.

Clark scored 12 points in the first quarter, sinking four of her first five shots including a pair of 3-pointers to pace a hot-shooting start for the Hawkeyes. Iowa sank 10 of their first 15 shots from the field with three assists into the paint to Monika Czinano, opening a 28-17 lead over the Lions after 10 minutes.

Southeastern Louisiana cut Iowa's lead to 12 at 35-23 midway through the second quarter. The Hawkeyes responded by closing the half on a 14-3 run, making their final five field goals in the first half to build a 54-32 halftime lead.

Monika Czinano added 22 points, taking advantage of several feeds into the post by Clark to hit 10 of 12 field goal attempts in the win. Hannah Stuelke added 13 points, making all five field goals attempts in her NCAA Tournament debut for the Hawkeyes.

Cierria Cunningham led Southeastern Louisiana with 15 points. The Lions, winners of the Southland Conference, end the season with a record of 21-10.

Iowa (27-6) will host Georgia on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament. The 10th-seeded Bulldogs advanced earlier on Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a 66-54 win over Florida State.

— Scott Jackson can be reached at sjackson@ottumwacourier.com. Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.