Kansas State does it again, this time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Wildcats defeat No. 2 Iowa 65-58 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
By Susan Harman
IOWA CITY, Iowa –
If you missed last year’s Iowa-Kansas State game, not to worry. Thursday night’s return engagement was more of the same.
K-State (3-0) defeated No. 2 Iowa, 65-58 Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Wildcats controlled the tempo. Even though KSU missed 39 shots, Iowa was unable to gear up its transition offense. K-State not only slowed down the Hawkeye offense, but its own defense shut down the Hawkeyes. The Wildcats have a whole bench full of 6-foot or taller guards and some of Iowa’s passes simply did not find their mark.
“It felt like there was no flow to the game,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “We couldn’t get our transitioin game going.
“I thought Kansas State played great defense,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder told Hawkeye radio. “This is the lowest numbers we’ve shot in I don’t know how long. Give credit to Kansas State, they’re long and they have a rim protector down there with Ayoka Lee.
“This was an ugly game. Both teams missed so many easy shots. Nine assists for us is an incredible low and 16 turnovers, that’s just not Iowa basketball.”
Iowa (3-1) made only 22 of 61 shots (.361) and 2-of-21 (nine percent) threes. All American Caitlin Clark scored 24, but her shooting percentage was abysmal. She made 9-of-32 shots overall and only 2-of-16 behind the arc. She took 32 of Iowa’s 61 shots, not a great ratio for Hawkeye success especially when Clark was cold.
She wasn’t alone. Most of the game both teams couldn’t find the range. Preseason all-Big 12 guard Gabby Gregory didn’t make a basket until late in the fourth quarter, and she scored 24 in last year’s game. KSU made 26-66 shots (.394) and 6-of-23 threes (.261). Gregory made one of six threes and 3-of-12 shots overall.
Bluder thought the 3-point shooting differential was the difference in the game.
Molly Davis didn’t start but put together her own run of points in the fourth quarter. Iowa led 44-42 going into the final quarter. Davis floated a shot of 6-6 Ayoka Lee to start Iowa off. Sydney Affolter had a similar looping shot go in over Lee to a 48-42 lead. Two turnovers stalled Iowa’s rally before Davis was at it again, this time with a floater in the lane. Then she made a shot from the elbow to give Iowa a 52-46 lead.
“I knew that our outside shots weren’t falling so I knew we had to get to the basket,” Davis told Hawkeye radio. “That was my mentality, kind of an attack mentality so I took the ball to the basket.”
“Molly’s got that little floater that she doesn’t have to get to the rim, so it worked out today for her,” Bluder told the radio audience.
The surge gave Iowa a lead that might have sent it home with a victory, but the Hawkeyes didn’t score in their last six possessions. Clark missed four shots, and Iowa committed two turnovers in the final 2:40. Clark did not look like herself. She had enormous trouble getting open and when she did it was a clunker. Thursday. She dominated Iowa’s possessions down the stretch, and Iowa had nothing to show for it.
“We really weren’t giving people the opportunities to shine like they’re capable of,” Bluder said.
K-State did not fold in the final 2 minutes, trailing 58-53. The Wildcats were poised and ran their offense while stifling Iowa. KSU scored in six of the last seven possessions to win while Iowa was looking for an answer that never came.
“It really came down to the fourth quarter; they just beat us in the fourth quarter,” Bluder said. “They beat us at crunch time.”
“I think like coach Bluder said, it’s just not Iowa basketball,” Clark said. “And me as a point guard, I kind of have to take responsibility for that. I have to get us into our offense a little better. I have to have a little better shot selection.”
Of course one of the differences in this game from last season was the presence of Lee in the paint. She just parked down there, and Iowa had trouble getting to the hoop on drives. Lee scored 22 points and bagged 12 rebounds. ZyAyana Walker was the only other Wildcat in double figures.
Iowa did win the rebounding battle 47-38 led by Stuelke’s 11. Kate Martin and Sharon Goodman had eight rebounds apiece. Iowa’s Gabby Marshall and Kate Martin combined for two points.
Next up for Iowa is Drake at 6 p.m. Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.