Thrilling Showdown: Follow Live Updates and Highlights of Iowa vs. West Virginia in 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Game

Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark (22) reacts after the Hawkeyes score in the first quarter against West Virginia during the second round game of the NCAA Tournament at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa, on Monday, 25 March 2024. (Savannah Blake/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY – Turns out the Iowa Hawkeyes can win a pinwheel, too.

Defense — and free throws — saved the day, and No. 2 Iowa beat West Virginia, 64-54, in an NCAA women's basketball second-round game before a sellout crowd of 14,324 Monday night. night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Held well below their national leader of 92.6 points per game, the Hawkeyes (31-4) were able to grunt and moan their way back to the Sweet 16.

They will face No. 17 Colorado (24-9) in a regional semifinal at MVP Arena in Albany, New York, on Saturday (time TBA).

West Virginia (25-8) scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to forge a 48-48 tie, and the Mountaineers tied it at 50-50, then 52-52 with 2:57 left.

JJ Quinerly lined up a 3-point attempt from the right wing to take the lead, which Gabbie Marshall blocked.

Sydney Affolter converted a three-point play at the other end for a 55-52 Iowa lead with 2:03 left, starting a 12-2 run to close out the game. Affolter's basket was the only one Iowa scored in 10 attempts in the fourth quarter. It doesn't matter. The Hawkeyes were 14 of 17 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, 9 of 10 in the final 1:07.

—Jeff Linder

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