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Caitlin Clark scores 44 points as No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes beat No. 8 Virginia Tech 90-86

By Sam Joseph, CNN

(CNN) — Behind a dominant performance from Caitlin Clark, the No. 3-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes took down the No. 8 Virginia Tech Hokies 90-86 and moved to 2-0 to start the season on Thursday.

Clark was responsible for almost half of her side’s scoring output, finishing with a monster stat line of 44 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Although she was not at her most efficient, shooting 13-for-31 from the field, the 21-year-old still rained in five triples. Clark was naturally targeted by the opposing defense and was fouled 16 times on the night – converting 13 of 17 free throws – while the entire Virginia Tech team drew 18 fouls.

According to Iowa, it was the fifth time in Clark’s career she has registered over 40 points, five-plus assists and five-plus rebounds.

The Hawkeyes were quick out of the blocks and built a 13-4 lead early in the game, but the Hokies quickly responded. They went on a 14-2 run that was capped off by an incredible buzzer-beating, half-court shot by Georgia Amoore to give Virginia Tech an 18-15 lead.

The game was tight throughout the first half with the scoreline at 33-32 in Iowa’s favor heading into the break, with Clark contributing 18 points.

Iowa took control in the second half and did not relinquish its lead at any point, building a double-digit cushion in the third quarter.

Although Virginia Tech mounted a comeback and brought the game within two points inside the last minute of the game after a late Amoore triple, the Hokies were kept at bay by Iowa which held on for the narrow victory over its top-10 opponent.

“This was a great early season win,” said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder after the game. “Virginia Tech is a great team. Even though we shot the ball so poorly, we got to the boards and got to the free throw line. I’m really proud of this group tonight.”

Clark, the reigning National Player of the Year continues her red-hot start to her senior year, after racking up 28 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists against Fairleigh Dickinson University in a lopsided matchup that Hawkeyes won 102-46.

Iowa is undefeated through two games as it seeks to go one better this season, after being defeated in the NCAA national championship game by LSU earlier this year.

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