Holly Cross’ Bronagh Power-Cassidy was called for an intentional foul in Saturday’s NCAA tournament game for elbowing Iowa star Caitlin Clark in the face, but both players said after the game it was accidental and Power-Cassidy apologized.

Here’s what they said after match:

Caitlin Clark draws intentional foul after Holy Cross star hits her in face at NCAA Tournament

Iowa star Caitlin Clark drew an intentional foul in the second quarter of Saturday’s NCAA Tournament game against Holy Cross, with opposing guard Bronagh Power-Cassidy hitting her in the face as she tried to run into the lane off the ball.

Clark stayed on the ground for several moments after the contact.

In NCAA women’s basketball, intentional fouls give a team two free throws and the ball. While ABC’s announcing team suggested Power-Cassidy was simply making a basketball play, the referees disagreed when assessing it through a video review.

Players clarify intentional foul called on Holy Cross for elbowing Caitlin  Clark was accidental - YouTube

Clark was not seriously injured and returned to take the free throws awarded because of the intentional foul.

While the top-seeded Hawkeyes came out of the gates slowly in their March Madness opener, they finished the second quarter with a flurry in front of a home crowd.

Entering the game, there was only mutual respect between teams, with Holy Cross head coach Maureen Magarity joking that her daughter loves Clark so much that she provided the Crusaders with a scouting report.

And Power-Cassidy, the Holy Cross player who bowled over Clark, gushed over the Hawkeyes guard in a pregame press conference.

“She’s the face of college basketball – men’s and women’s right now,” Power-Cassidy told reporters.

“It’s huge, and as a female basketball player, I just have so much respect for her and what’s she’s done for the sport.”

Power-Cassidy was her team’s best player in the early going. The Crusaders trailed by just two after the first quarter thanks to Power-Cassidy’s long-range shooting. She scored 17 first-half points with four made 3-pointers.

However, Iowa leaned on its NCAA Tournament experience to build an 18-point lead entering the intermission.

The Hawkeyes are battled-tested, having made the national championship game last season and thriving through a grueling Big Ten schedule this year. They recently won the Big Ten Tournament title.

NCAA Tournament: Caitlin Clark catches elbow to face via Holy Cross  intentional foul

Clark, of course, is the engine that led Iowa to a No. 1 seed. She’s now the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer. But she’s also an adept passer and rebounder, influencing the game even when her shot doesn’t fall.

That said, Clark has capable teammates who have provided essential offensive balance. Forward Hannah Stuelke scored 47 points in a game earlier this season, and Kate Martin scored 12.9 points per game on 38.6 percent 3-point shooting.

With Clark departing for the WNBA after the NCAA Tournament, Stuelke figures to be the go-to player of the future for Iowa.

But she’s also eager to show that she’s a sufficient main complement to Clark right now as Iowa moves beyond Holy Cross and into more difficult stages of March Madness. As long as Stuelke continues what she’s done for much of the season, Clark will be pleased with her work.