NCAAW: Iowa Hawkeyes set to face Ohio State Buckeyes in season finale showdown

Caitlin Clark is just 18 points shy of the all-time scoring record, while her last home game has become the priciest in college basketball history.

COLUMBUS, OHIO - JANUARY 21: Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes is defended by Cotie McMahon #32 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the game at Value City Arena on January 21, 2024 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Iowa 100-92 in overtime. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Caitlin Clark is bidding a regular season farewell at the Carver, with tickets commanding the highest prices in NCAA basketball history. As she approaches the milestone of becoming the NCAA's all-time leading scorer, the stage is set for an epic matchup. All eyes are on Clark for the chase in Pistol Petes's [Pete Maravich] all-time scoring record.

In the highly anticipated showdown between the two top-seeded teams, the most affordable ticket is priced at $297, available in corner F section on VividSeats. At present, the priciest seat available in the house is listed at $1,356, located in sideline section BB.

Related: Caitlin Clark declares for the 2024 WNBA Draft

ESPN's College Gameday is headed to Iowa

ESPN's College GameDay is set to return to Iowa City for the second consecutive year. Starting at 10 a.m. CT, the show will be hosted by a stellar lineup of basketball analysts, including Elle Duncan, Andraya Carter, Rebecca Lobo, Carolyn Peck, and Holly Rowe.

Anticipation mounts for the No. 6 Iowa Hawkeyes' showdown against the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This game holds extra significance as Iowa bids farewell to its seniors, notably Caitlin Clark, who recently declared for the WNBA Draft.

Announcing the guard will forgo a fifth season at Iowa, Clark stated she wanted full transparency headed into senior night with her teammates. She emphasized the importance of enjoying the moment, and celebrating the growth of the program. Following the game, Iowa will celebrate senior night, with Caitlin Clark having one goal in mind: defeating Ohio State.

"My main goal is beating Ohio State," said Clark in post game press conference. "I think we are all just super excited for another opportunity at them. "(Owen Siebring on X)

Earlier this year, Ohio State secured a victory over Iowa in overtime

With tip off at 1 p.m. ET, the Buckeyes (25-3) will face the Hawkeyes (25-4) in a monumental BigTen matchup. All eyes are on Iowa, who are out for revenge, after losing to Ohio state 100-92 in overtime back on Jan. 21. With Iowa as the heavy favorites with 18,660 spectators at Value City Arena, Ohio State came back from a 12-point deficit. They outscored the Hawkeyes 25-8 in the fourth quarter, and Jacy Sheldon sealed the deal with two made free-throws in the final 26 seconds of overtime.

It was a matchup Caitlin Clark would rather forget. Despite her stellar performance, she found herself accidentally knocked to the ground as Buckeye fans stormed the court in celebration. Thankfully, Clark emerged from the incident without injuries, but it was a frightening moment for the nation's top player. Plus, they snapped Iowa's 15 game win streak.

In that meeting, Clark finished with a season high (at the time) 45 points, 2 steals, 1 block, 7 assists, and 3 rebounds. Finishing 12-25 from the field, the Iowa native finished 14-16 from free-throw line. Hannah Stuelke and Molly Davis combined for 24 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds. Ohio State applied the pressure defensively, holding the Hawkeyes to 46.2 percent from the field, and 35.7 percent from deep.

Caitlin Clark accounts for 34.7 percent of the Hawkeyes offense

7-1 in the BigTen, the Hawkeyes find themselves in a similar position as last season, where they finished 31-7. Under coach Lisa Bluder, Iowa is 12-1 at home, and won their last two games against Minnesota and Illinois. In five games against ranked teams, the Hawkeyes have impressive victories over Virginia Tech, Kansas State, and Indiana.

Indeed, Caitlin Clark has been the central focus with her extraordinary career accomplishments. Averaging 32.2 points per game, she constitutes 34.7 percent of the team's offense. However, her teammates have played a crucial role, offering support both on and off the court. Averaging the most points in NCAA women's basketball with 92.7 points per game, they will look to keep it rolling on Sunday.

Clark's been incredible at home, averaging 32.9 points, 8.8 assists, and 6.9 rebounds, on 40.8 percent three-point shooting.

For the Buckeyes, they showcased why they are the real deal this season. With a 6-1 record in the conference, they earned a signature win at home. Jacy Sheldon, who closed tings out, finished with 24 points and seven rebounds. The no. 18 seed at the time, Cotie McMahon put up a career high 33 points and 12 rebounds.

Senior Day

Sophomore Hannah Stuelke stands as the team's second-highest scorer, averaging 14.1 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Alongside Stuelke, senior guard Kate Martin contributes significantly with 13 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Although they aren't the highest ranked team, Clark along with the rest of the roster make the team a formidable presence once again this year. Tomorrow night, Clark, Kate Martin, Gabbie Marshall, Sharon Goodman, and Molly Davis will all the proper senior sendoff post game.

As Iowa aims to host the NCAA tournament's first round, it's a prime opportunity to honor the athletes who have made significant contributions to the program's success. The core of this team, consisting of five players, boasts a combined total of 100 wins and played pivotal roles in leading Iowa to its inaugural NCAA Championship title game last season.

Ohio State has won 15 consecutive games

Following their season-opening loss to USC, Ohio State has been unstoppable, remaining undefeated since their matchup against Michigan on December 30th. During this impressive streak, they've ascended in the rankings, securing 15 consecutive victories. Notably, these wins include triumphs over formidable opponents such as ranked teams Indiana, Iowa, Penn State, and Tennessee.

Senior Jacy Sheldon stands out as the team's leading scorer, averaging an impressive 18 points per game. She is closely followed by Cotie McMahon, Taylor Thierry, and Celeste Taylor, all of whom contribute points in double figures, showcasing the depth and scoring versatility of the team.

While they failed to make it to the final four last year, the Bucks scored big by locking up Taylor, the ACC Defensive Player of the Year transfer from Duke. With March Madness right around the corner, Ohio State recently had colossal victories over Michigan, Maryland, and Penn State. Over the last five games, they've had a total point differential over Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Maryland, and Michigan.

Key Players


  • Caitlin Clark (Senior, guard): 32.2 PPG | 7.4 RPG | 8.7 APG | 1.7 SPG | 39.5 % 3PT
  • Molly Davis (Senior, guard): 6.3 PPG | 2.3 RPG | 3.2 APG | 1 SPG | 40.7 % 3PT
  • Hannah Stuelke (Sophomore, guard): 14.1 PPG | 6.8 RPG | 1.4 APG | 1 SPG | 63.9 FG %
  • Kate Martin (Senior, guard): 13 PPG | 6.3 RPG | 2.6 APG | 52.3 FG %


  • Cotie McMahon( Sophomore, forward):14.3 PPG | 6.5 RPG | 2.2 APG | 2.0 BPG | 47.2 FG %
  • Jacy Sheldon (Senior, guard) : 18 PPG | 3.4 RPG | 3.6 APG | 2.1 SPG | 38.4 % 3PT
  • Celeste Taylor (Senior, guard): 10.3 PPG | 4.2 RPG | 3.4 APG | 2.3 SPG
  • Taylor Thierry (Junior, guard) :11.4 PPG | 5.5 RPG | 1.5 APG | 1.8 SPG | 46.2 % 3PT
  • Rebeka Mikulasikova (Senior, forward) :9.1 PPG | 2.9 RPG | 2.5 APG | 38.3 % 3PT

The Buckeyes are beatable

Ohio State has continued to build an impressive record, positioning themselves for a potential No. 1 seed with a victory over Iowa. However, their scoring average of 80.6 points per game ranks 15th in the league. While defensively they've allowed an average of 62.9 points per game, their struggle with rebounds has persisted as a season-long weakness.

For Iowa to craft a Cinderella story on senior day, they must prioritize ball control, as Ohio State thrives on fast-paced basketball and capitalizes on turnovers. Iowa has honed their defensive strategies, including the utilization of the box-and-one defense. If they can execute defensively, victory could be within their grasp.

And again, it all may come down to Caitlin Clark. After all, she scored all the overtime buckets for Iowa in their last matchup vs. Ohio State. With the Buckeyes named the outright Big Ten Champions, there's not as much on the line.

Stay tuned for more NCAA and WNBA related articles. Click here

Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter, Content Creator and Social Media Manager for Ballislife Bets. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut/NYC area with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *