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Clark and Czinano led Iowa past SE Louisiana in March Madness

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Caitlin Clark had 26 points and 12 assists and Monika Czinano added 22 points as Iowa defeated Southeastern Louisiana 95-43 in the first round of a women’s NCAA tournament on Friday.

Hannah Stuelke added 13 points for the Hawkeyes, the second seed in Seattle Regional 4. Iowa (27-6) will play No. 10 Georgia in the second round on Sunday.

Clark, an Associated Press first-team All-American who finished third in the nation with 27 points per game, added seven assists. She was 9 out of 14 out of the field.

Czinano, third in the nation in field goal percentage after leading the nation in that category for the past two seasons, was 10 of 12 off the field. She added eight rebounds.

The Hawkeyes, who played to a sold-out crowd of 14,382, never stayed behind. They led 28-17 at the end of the first quarter and 54-32 at halftime. Iowa shot 60.6% in the first half, 60% for the game.

The Iowa defense kept the Lady Lions on just 25.4% shooting for the game, including 3 of 32 from the field in the second half.

Southeastern Louisiana (21-10), a 15th-seeded regular season and tournament winner of the Southland Conference, was making his first NCAA tournament appearance.

Southeast Louisiana guard Jalencia Pierre battles with Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, right, in the first half of a first round college basketball game at the NCAA tournament, Friday, March 17, 2023, in Iowa City, Iowa, for a loose ball. Credit: AP/Charlie Neibergall

Cierria Cunningham led the Lady Lions by 15 points.


Southeast Louisiana: The Lady Lions came into the game 14th and averaged just 54.5 points per game, but the Hawkeyes folded so early in the second half. Still, the Lady Lions never seemed to lose their composure until the second half as they played in front of the biggest crowd they’d seen all season.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes remember being eliminated in the second round last season in the home loss to Creighton, and they came out strong in that game. The Hawkeyes put on one of their better defensive performances of the season.