Iowa State's Caitlin Clark wins March Madness opener while referee removed during NC State-Chattanooga game due to 'background conflict'

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Kaitlyn Clark makes a basket for the Holy Cross Crusaders during the first round of the women's NCAA tournament.



CNN

Kaitlyn Clark scored 27 points as the Iowa Hawkeyes won the opening game March Madness on saturday.

Clarke started slowly before eventually finding her range as she proved to be the catalyst for 91-65 victory for No. 1 seed Iowa over the No. 16 Holy Cross Crusaders at Carver–Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

The 22-year-old missed nine of her first 11 shots, but still impacted the game in other ways, adding 10 assists and eight rebounds in a complete performance.

After the first-round win, Clark expressed how “frustrated” the entire team was in the first quarter, but they were able to get back on track soon after.

“This is a game you want to come out of and control from the start,” Clarke told reporters. “We probably played with a little rust. They really packed the paint — they sat four people in there, and it was really hard to get to the basket.

“We really started running our offense in the second quarter. … I think I was a little frustrated, but I think that comes from knowing what it takes to get to where we want to be.

Kate Martin added 15 points and 14 rebounds, and Addie O'Grady added 14 points.

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Clark drives to the basket against Holy Cross defenders.

Clark, who became the all-time NCAA Division I leading scorer during the regular season, raised her career point total to 3,798 points.

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Iowa State advances to the second round where it will face No. 8 seed West Virginia in the round of 32 on Monday.

Elsewhere, a referee was removed at halftime of a women's NCAA Tournament first-round game between No. 3 NC State and No. 14 Chattanooga due to a “background conflict.”

According to a pool reporter statement: “There was a shuffling of game officials at halftime of the first round game between Chattanooga and NC State because it was learned after the start of the game that Umpire 2 Tommi Paris had a background conflict that, if known, would prevent her from working at that time.” Custom game.

Ben McKeown/AFP

Tommy Paris (left) watches as NC State's Sania Rivers handles the ball during the first half of the game against Chattanooga.

“The decision was made to move Angelica Suffrin, who officiated in the first match of the session, to the position of Referee 2 because she provided the most experience on the field and allowed the match to maintain a full refereeing crew, as well as on standby.”

According to the Paris fileShe earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

NC State went on to comfortably beat Chattanooga 64-45 and advance to the second round of March Madness where they will face Tennessee.

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