Monday, April 15, 2024
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Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder looks to lead Caitlin Clark, Hawkeyes to 1st NCAA title

(NEW YORK) — For the second straight season, head coach Lisa Bluder has led the Iowa Hawkeyes women’s basketball team to the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.

Bluder spoke to “Good Morning America” following her team’s 94-87 win over LSU in the Elite Eight — a rematch of last year’s championship game when the Hawkeyes came up short — and shared how they will be preparing for the next round.

“We just kept talking about, this wasn’t a rivalry with LSU, it wasn’t a rematch of last year’s game, it was a whole new team, a whole new year,” Bluder said. “Our team was so locked in. They were so ready to play last night. I’m really, really happy for them.”

Caitlin Clark, the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer among men and woman, accounted for 71% of the scoring against LSU with 41 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds.

“She’s absolutely amazing,” Bluder said. “She has been consistent throughout her entire career, but when the spotlight is on, she is at her very best at that time.”

Clark is one of the many stars on the court helping drum up massive media attention and interest from fans during this tournament and beyond, something Bluder — who has coached the women’s game for 40 years — said she’s proud to be part of.

“I could never have fathomed the amount of interest that we are getting right now in our game,” she said. “When I played and when I started coaching, you know, you’re begging people to come and watch your team play. And now it’s so fulfilling.”

“Our game has gotten so much better, quite honestly. And the media exposure that we’ve gotten through national networks like the Big Ten Network and such, that has helped us expose our brand to so many different people. For us, it’s an exciting time to be part of women’s basketball,” Bluder continued.

Iowa will now set its sights on another exciting matchup, going head to head with UConn and their star, Paige Bueckers, on Friday. But Bluder isn’t quite ready to look ahead at the Huskies.

“I haven’t even thought about it yet,” Bluder said, candidly. “I gave myself about 20 hours to enjoy this one. That’s what I’m going to do. I’ll star prepping this afternoon.”
 

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