By Jamie H. Vaught
If you looked at the results of both teams’ schedules, you would have thought No. 4 seed Kentucky would have a good chance to win its second-round matchup against No. 5 seed Iowa in NCAA women's tournament Tuesday afternoon in San Antonio.
That’s because UK had beaten Indiana in a nonconference contest earlier in the season while Iowa had dropped both Big Ten games to the Hoosiers.
But it didn’t happen that way as hot-shooting Iowa rolled past the cold-shooting Wildcats in an easy 86-72 win. For Kentucky, it was third straight tournament appearance that has ended in the second round.
After the Hawkeyes raced to an 11-0 lead, UK wasn’t able to catch up the rest of the afternoon as freshman superstar Caitlin Clark gunned in a game-high 35 points for Iowa, whose biggest lead was 27 points at the halftime.
UK, which shot 35.1 percent of its field goals, finished its COVID-19 campaign with 18-9 mark, while the Hawkeyes improved to 20-9. Iowa hit 57.4 percent of its shots, including 10 of 19 three-pointers.
Junior Rhyne Howard and sophomore Dre’una Edwards were Kentucky’s leading scorers with 28 and 16 points, respectively. Howard also had eight assists, six steals and five rebounds.
Former Harlan County High School standout Blair Green had four points in 14 minutes for Kentucky.