Undefeated streak broken, South Carolina falls to Iowa in the semifinals

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Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 8:50 PM EDT
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DALLAS, T.X. (WIS) - The South Carolina Gamecocks fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the semifinals of the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament.

4th quarter

The fourth quarter started with another huge three-pointer by guard Raven Johnson. Boston made a layup to give South Carolina a 60-59 lead. Caitlyn Clark responded with a three to give Iowa a 6-60 lead.

Cardoso continued to be the x-factor for the Gamecocks, but it was the three-point touch of Caitlyn that continued to keep the lead out of reach for South Carolina.

Hawkeyes’ forward picked up her third foul by fouling Boston at the 5:29 mark of the period. Boston went 1/2 from that trip to line to bring the Gamecocks within two before a Clark layup put them back up by four. Johnson knocked down her third three of the game to bring South Carolina back within one.

Cooke threw the ball away for a wasted position to give the Hawkeyes the ball back. The game came down to the wire, with Iowa leading 71-68 with 1:42 to go in the game.

The South Carolina Gamecocks lose to the Iowa Hawkeyes 77-73.

3rd quarter

Aliyah Boston started the quarter after sitting most of the second quarter with two fouls. Iowa scored three straight baskets, going on a 6-0 run to go on a 44-37 lead. Boston picked up her third foul, however, Iowa went up by nine points by the 7:25 mark of the quarter.

South Carolina dominated Iowa in the rebounding battle, but it did not reflect the score of the game. A Cardoso put-back bucket brought the Gamecocks within 7. A Cooke layup brought South Carolina within five until a three-pointer by Iowa extended the game back to eight.

Cardoso continued to get whatever she wanted from the floor, bringing the Gamecocks to within six. South Carolina’s struggles from beyond the arc continued to plague them. Another Cardoso shot brought South Carolina to within four.

A Brea Beal layup brought South Carolina down two until Clark responded with a shot of her own. The bigs for Iowa continued to force mismatches with the Gamecocks, going to the line and extending their lead.

After Iowa dared guard Raven Johnson to shoot threes all game, she finally hit one to bring South Carolina within 2 again. Cooke lost the ball on the Gamecocks’ final possession of the quarter giving Iowa a chance to score before the end of the quarter which they did.

Iowa led 59-55 at the end of the quarter. This is only the second time this season South Carolina is down heading to the fourth quarter.

2nd quarter

Guard Raven Johnson switched to guarding Clark to start the second quarter. South Carolina continued to struggle to figure out the defense of the Hawkeyes. However, it was Cooke’s continued scoring effort that kept the Gamecocks within striking distance.

A Laeticia Amihere layup and one seemed to energize the team. Amihere’s shot was followed by an and-one layup by Cooke. Clark picked up her second foul but continued to stay on the floor, hitting a fadeaway shot ending a 6-0 Gamecocks run.

A Cardosa putback shot brought South Carolina to a 26-23 game until a Clark three extended Iowa’s lead again. The Gamecocks continued to struggle from outside which hampered the team.

An Amihere layup brought the Gamecocks within two, her layup brought South Carolina to within one of the Hawkeyes, 31-30. Another Amihere layup gave South Carolina their first lead of the night.

Iowa responded with a Caitlyn Clark three-pointer to recapture the lead. The Gamecocks battled back with a one-point 37-36 lead. Cardoso had three blocks in the half. A Brea Beal foul sent Martin to the foul line for the Hawkeyes to take the a 38-37 lead with 30.2 seconds left in the half.

The Gamecocks trailed Iowa 38-37 to end the first half.

1st quarter:

South Carolina won the tip-off, with both teams having pregame jitters and struggling to find a bucket until a Caitlyn Clark layup. Iowa went on a 4-0 lead with the Gamecocks having trouble scoring, shooting 0-5 from the field until a Zia Cooke fade away. The Hawkeyes jumped out to an 8-2 lead, matching South Carolina’s physicality.

The Gamecocks second score did not come until the 5:17 mark of the quarter with another Cooke field goal. Cooke was in attack mode all quarter, scoring South Carolina’s first six points.

South Carolina continued to have issues on the offensive end, playing timid, and giving the Hawkeyes opportunities to extend the lead which they did.

It was the Gamecocks bigs keeping the team afloat, with a huge basket made by Kamilla Cardosa. With South Carolina having difficulty from the field it was Cooke who took over for the team.

Boston picked up two quick fouls and headed to the bench. A 20-11 lead for Iowa off of a 7-0 run until Raven Johnson scored off an offensive rebound. This was Clark’s 89th straight game with double-digit points.

The quarter ended with the Gamecocks in a 22-13 deficit.

Previous coverage:

The University of South Carolina Gamecocks are two wins away from back-to-back NCAA Women’s Basketball National Champions.

However, 2023 AP Player of the Year Caitlyn Clark and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes stand in their way in the semifinals of the Final Four.

South Carolina will be relying heavily on senior forward Aliyah Boston and guard Zia Cooke.

Follow along for live game updates.

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