Hawkeyes Emerge Triumphant in Epic Rematch Game

Iowa Hawkeyes beat the Number Three LSU Tigers 94-87 in Albany, New York, during a hard-fought battle in the first round of the Elite Eight of the 2024 NCAA women’s basketball tournament. The Hawkeyes will advance to the Final Four in Cleveland, where they’ll play the winner of the USC Trojans and Connecticut Huskies game.

Monday’s highly anticipated showdown reunited star players Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark, whose rivalry has captivated the nation leading up to the big game. While LSU star Reese was dominant in the first half, and finished with 17 points and 20 rebounds, the Tigers struggled to keep the momentum in the second half. Clark dropped 41 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds, while teammates Kate Martin and Sydney Affolter sank in double figures adding 21 and 16, respectively. 

The night was a a rematch of last year’s championship game, which saw the Tigers clinch a 102-85 win over the Hawkeyes to claim their first championship in program history — at the time, it was the most-viewed NCAA women’s basketball final, with nearly 13 million people watching at peak viewership. In the final seconds, when it was evident the Tigers would be taking home the trophy, Reese appeared to taunt Clark by performing John Cena’s “You can’t see me” hand move.

The moment ignited a year of heated debates among sports commentators and fans alike over the racial narratives crafted around white players and Black players. Clark had been celebrated for the same move two games prior when Iowa faced off with Louisville. Yet critics were quick to call Reese’s gesture “classless,” and in response, many on social media, including professional athletes, called out the racist double standard.

In separate statements during a Sunday press conference, before any player on the Tigers and Hawkeyes stepped foot on the court Monday night, Reese and Clark set the record straight — there was absolutely no beef between them.

“I don’t think people realize it’s not personal,” Reese said when asked about trash talking. “Once we get out between those lines, if I see you walking down the street, it’s like, ‘Hey, girl, what’s up? Let’s hang out.’ I think people just take it like we hate each other. Me and Caitlin Clark don’t hate each other. I want everybody to understand that. It’s just a super-competitive game. Once I get between those lines, there’s no friends. I’m going to talk trash to you. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get in your head the whole entire game, but after the game, we can kick it. I don’t think people really realize that.” She said her relationship with Clark is “super-competitive,” stating that the two had been playing each other since high school.


“There’s definitely that competitive fire,” Clark said. “Both of us want to win more than anything, and that’s how it should be when you’re a competitor and you get into a situation like this, whether it was the national championship, whether it’s the Elite Eight.

“I think that’s the main similarity is how competitive we are,” Clark continued. “We both grew up loving this game, and we’re going to do anything we can to help our teams win.”

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