Iowa-West Virginia free throw disparity: Damian Lillard, more react to overwhelming advantage for Hawkeyes

Breathe in, breathe out. Iowa-West Virginia is over now. 

The No. 1 Hawkeyes were nearly upset on their home court in the second round of March Madness. No. 8 West Virginia came in and put up a fight, even tying it up with two minutes to go, but Caitlin Clark and Co. ultimately prevailed 64-54 to advance to the Sweet 16.

The senior star even broke the DI women’s single-season scoring record amid the chaos.

MORE: Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers stats

But at what cost? The game results showed one story while stats show another — and it’s not in Iowa’s favor.

West Virginia hit more two-point field goals than the home team (21 to 17), including connecting on four more 3-pointers. Foul trouble added a whole new layer of issues, though. Iowa committed just 11 fouls compared to West Virginia’s 27. Two Mountaineers, JJ Quinerly and Jordan Harrison, fouled out.

The result? Twenty-two more points. While WVU went 3-5 from the free throw line for the game, the Hawkeyes went 25-30. It was especially noticeable in the second half, as Iowa had 10 attempts in the third quarter and 17 in the fourth. West Virginia’s single free throw attempt in the final frame came with 9:32 remaining.

MORE: How Caitlin Clark, Hawkeyes survived March Madness scare from West Virginia

Iowa-West Virginia free throw disparity: Damian Lillard, more react on Twitter

While West Virginia didn’t send Clark packing, it competed, which is all that mattered to Mark Kellogg. His post-game comments reflected less of questionable calls and more of his team’s fight. 

The stark difference caused some of basketball’s best to speak up about questionable calls and refereeing that could have changed the results of the game. It also prompts the question of whether the women’s tournament should move to neutral sites in the first two rounds rather than awarding home court advantage.

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