Caitlin Clark had her legendary collegiate career come to an end in losing fashion Sunday.

The Iowa superstar came up just short of leading the Hawkeyes to a national championship as they to fell powerhouse South Carolina, 87-75, in the title game. It’s the second straight season Iowa lost in the national final.

There were no visible tears on the face Clark as she spoke with reporters following the contest. She tried to look on the bright side of what undoubtedly was a stinging defeat.

“I think for me, the emotions will probably hit me over the next couple days,” Clark told reporters, per the Big Ten Network. “I don’t have much time to sit around and sulk and be upset. I don’t think that’s what I’m about, either. Yeah, I’m sad we lost this game, but I’m also so proud of myself, I’m so proud of my teammates, I’m so proud of this program. There’s a lot to be proud of.

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“There’s going to be tears. It is sad that this is all over and this is the last time I’m going to put on an Iowa jersey. So, I think just reflecting back and soaking in everything I was able to do because basically anybody other than me and coach (Lisa) Bluder never thought this was possible.”

Clark did all she could to try to get Iowa to hoist the trophy. She poured in a game-high 30 points on 10-for-28 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and five steals. But juggernaut South Carolina, which finished the season with a 38-0 record, proved to be too much for the Hawkeyes. The Gamecocks’ bench outscored Iowa’s reserves, 37-0, while South Carolina star Kamilla Cardoso turned in 15 points and 17 rebounds.

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“South Carolina is just so good,” Clark said. “There’s only so much you can do. Cardoso has 17 rebounds. They have 51 as a team. We have 29. Hard to win a basketball game like that. You basically got to shoot perfect at that point. I’m just proud of our group. We never backed down and we gave it everything we got.”

Clark is now on to the next chapter of her career. She is expected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft on April 15.

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Featured image via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images