Kansas State takes down No. 2 Iowa as string of upsets continue

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) gets a rebound next to Kansas State guard Gabby Gregory (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Iowa is undefeated no more. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

No. 2 Iowa became the latest top 5 team to fall in an upset on Thursday.

This time, it was the Hawkeyes losing to unranked Kansas State in a brutal game for defending Wooden Award winner Caitlin Clark. The good was she scored 24 points with three assists. The bad was she shot 6-of-32 from the field (2-of-16 from 3-point range) with four turnovers.

No other Iowa player scored more than 10 points. Clark’s 32 shots represented 52% of Iowa’s output for the night.

After a back-and-forth first three quarters, Iowa appeared to be in a good place in the fourth with a 48-42 lead with a little over nine minutes left and a 58-53 lead with 2:30 left. Then the Wildcats finished the game on a 10-0 run, powered by Gabby Gregory and Ayoka Lee.

Lee led Kansas State with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting with 12 rebounds and two blocks. Gregory was 1-for-12 until the final three minutes, but the All-Big 12 first-teamer came up big in the end.

Iowa is the third top 5 team to fall in the last 10 days. Then-No. 1 and defending champion LSU lost its season opener to Colorado, NC State beat then-No. 2 UConn on Sunday and No. 21 Baylor took down No. 4 Utah on Tuesday.

The Hawkeyes entered this season with big expectations, a natural consequence of having Clark on their roster after she led them to the national championship game last season, where they lost to LSU. However, that team also graduated Monika Czinano and McKenna Warnock, its No. 2 and 3 scorers next season. Gabbie Marshall and Kate Martin, the remaining starters alongside Clark, combined to go 1-of-7 for two points and four turnovers on Thursday.

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