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Iowa Update: Hannah Stuelke amazes with 47 points as No. 2 Hawkeyes topple Penn State, 111-93

The sheer excellence of a Hawkeye fan favorite defined the evening.

Syndication: Iowa City Press-Citizen
Hannah Stuelke was efficient and unstoppable as she scored 47 points, the second most in a single game in program history.
Julia Hansen/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

The sold-out crowd at Carver Hawkeye Arena not only was present to watch No. 2 Iowa take on Penn State and ultimately come away with the 111-93 victory, but they also were there to witness to history.

Although, it wasn’t the kind of history they had expected.

As Caitlin Clark closes in on becoming the all-time leading scorer in NCAAW basketball history, many were anticipating that she would inch her way closer with a stellar performance. She did have a solid night, with 27 points, 15 assists, five rebounds and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. As a result, she is now 39 points away from breaking the record of 3,527 held by Kelsey Plum.

But in this game, it was Hannah Stuelke who garnered the hoopla.

Stuelke put on an offensive clinic that resulted not only in a career high of 47 points, but she also passed Clark’s personal best of 46 points and finished one basket shy of breaking the record for most points scored in a single game at Iowa, which was set by former Hawkeye Megan Gustafson in 2018. Furthermore, she bested her own high mark of 44 points, scored as a senior at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids.

Stuelke’s numbers said it all. She shot a whopping 85 percent from the field (17-for-20), 62 percent from the free throw line (13-for-21) and grabbed nine rebounds. Stuelke seemed to be all over the floor, as she was able to get in good position to score in the paint, whether in transition or in the Hawkeyes’ halfcourt motion offense. Not only that, but, as she closed in on 40 points, the crowd at Carver cheered on her exploits with the repeated chant of “Hannah Stuelke! Hannah Stuelke!”

In the final seconds of the game, when Iowa was on their way to victory, despite some considerable inroads made by Penn State, Stuelke had a chance to break the record. But, she did not ask for the ball in transition. Instead, she was substituted out for Sharon Goodman, heading to the bench to a thunderous applause and hugs from her teammates, including Clark. Stuelke later said that Clark told her, “I expect you do this every game.”

Afterwards, the soft spoken Stuelke gave credit to her teammates for helping get in position to score. “It was a lot of fun,‘’ she said. “My teammates did a great job of giving me the ball. I had some mismatches there. So yeah it was fun.”

When Goodman was asked to replace Stuelke, she instead chose to wait so that Stuelke could potentially reach 50 points. Head coach Lisa Bluder said Goodman’s gesture is glimpse of the culture she has built with this team. “I can’t express to you enough how much this team cares about each other, looks out for each other and that is what makes it so fun to coach them,” Bluder shared.

Some other notable performances came from the two workhorses: Kate Martin and Syd Affolter. Martin finished with a double-double of 16 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. She also shot 66 percent from the field (4-for-6) and 87 percent from the free throw line (7-for-8). Affolter finished with nine points and grabbed 10 boards, as well as going a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. Affolter’s 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer also received an assist from a very friendly rim.

No. 2 Iowa (22-2, 11-1) will hit the road to take on Nebraska (15-8, 7-5) on Super Bowl Sunday at 12:00 CST.