Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark had 42 points in a 96-82 victory over the No. 8 Maryland Terrapins on Thursday, making her the only player in Division I men's or women's basketball this season to have two 40-plus games against a ranked opponent.
Clark went 13 of 19 from the field -- 6 of 11 from 3-point range -- while adding eight assists and seven rebounds. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Clark is just the second player in the last 20 seasons to have a 40/5/5 game in a victory over a top-10 opponent. The other was recently inducted Naismith Hall of Famer Lindsay Whalen in 2002 for the Minnesota Gophers women's team.
Whalen went on to win four WNBA titles with the Minnesota Lynx and is now the Gophers' head coach. No Division I men's players have equaled that in that time span.
It was the junior Clark's fourth game of 40 or more points against a ranked foe during her Iowa career, tying her with former Oklahoma State Cowgirls guard Andrea Riley for the most in the last 20 seasons. It was Clark's sixth game of 40 or more points overall (including against unranked foes) at Iowa, which is the most in Big Ten history.
Clark's other 40-plus game this season came in a loss, with 45 vs. the then-No. 12 NC State Wolfpack on Dec. 1. Her career high is 46 points, which she got last season against the Michigan Wolverines.
Clark wasn't the only Hawkeye with a hot hand Thursday, though, as teammate Monika Czinano had 28 points on 14 of 18 shooting from the field. Their combined 70 points was the second-most by a duo among Division I women's teams this season, behind 71 by DePaul Blue Demons teammates Darrione Rogers (36) and Aneesah Morrow (35) against the Miami Hurricanes on Nov. 20.
"I'm not sure how you can't call Clark the national player of the year with the season she has had," Iowa coach Lisa Blude said. "Czinano did her thing on the low block and was unbelievably efficient. I'm really proud of this group with the fire they played with."
Clark (points and assists per game) and Czinano (field-goal percentage) were NCAA Division I leaders in those categories last season, and are back near the top this year. Clark is now averaging 27.8 points and 7.9 assists, both second in Division I to the Villanova Wildcats' Maddy Siegrist (28.2 PPG) and UConn's Nika Muhl (8.8 APG).
Czinano's 67.0 field-goal percentage is third in Division I.
Clark and Czinano needed big games to counter the 53 combined points from Maryland's Diamond Miller and Shyanne Sellers. The Hawkeyes also got a boost off their bench from freshman Hannah Stuelke with 13 points.
"I thought they battled, too, and made it a great game," Clark said of the Terps. "I thought we really executed, threw a lot of different defenses at them. So overall a really good win for us."
No. 6 Iowa has now won seven consecutive games and is 18-4 overall and 10-1 in the Big Ten, just behind the 11-1 Indiana Hoosiers, who have won nine in a row. The Hawkeyes travel to face the Penn State Lady Lions on Sunday, then have the first of two meetings against No. 4 Indiana on Feb. 9 in Bloomington, Indiana. The Hawkeyes and Hoosiers will meet in Iowa City in the regular-season finale Feb. 26 on ESPN2.