Hawkeyes add Olsen from Villanova to aid in scoring

AP FILE PHOTO - Villanova guard Lucy Olsen (3) shoots against Oregon State during the second half of a women’s college basketball game on Nov. 12, 2023, in Corvallis, Ore.

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team has added Lucy Olsen, one of the nation’s most productive scorers from last season, to help fill the void in the post-Caitlin Clark era.

Olsen, a former Villanova star who entered the transfer portal, wrote on social media on Wednesday that she’s joining the Hawkeyes. The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 23.3 points this season to rank third among women’s Division I scorers behind only Clark (31.6) and USC’s sensational freshman JuJu Watkins (27.1).

“New beginnings,” she wrote on X, along with a picture of herself in a Hawkeyes uniform.

Clark, the NCAA Division I leading scorer among men and women, became the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft on Monday. She scored 3,951 points in her college career while leading Iowa to the women’s NCAA Tournament championship game each of the last two seasons.

The Indiana Fever selected her with the top overall pick in the draft.

Olsen also averaged 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.9 steals while helping Villanova to a 22-13 record. She earned unanimous first-team all-Big East honors and was voted the league’s most improved player. The Wildcats lost to Illinois in the championship game of the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament.

Olsen, an upcoming senior, has one year of eligibility left. Iowa’s backcourt is losing Clark, Kate Martin, Gabbie Marshall and Molly Davis from a team that finished 34-5. Martin went to the Las Vegas Aces with the 18th overall pick in the WNBA draft.

Still, Iowa is expected to be one of the sport’s top programs again next season and returns forwards Hannah Stuelke and Addison O’Grady, and guards Taylor McCabe and Sydney Affolter.

A Pennsylvania native, Olsen started all 105 games of her Villanova career. The Wildcats lost in the Sweet 16 her sophomore year and in the second round of the NCAA tournament when she was a freshman. Olsen made 134 3-pointers at Villanova, including 55 last season.


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