The #2 Iowa Hawkeyes were stunned by unranked Kansas State for the second season in a row on Thursday night. The Wildcats, behind star senior Ayoka Lee, rode a massive fourth quarter to beat Caitlin Clarke and the Hawkeyes 65-58. Clark, the heart and soul of Iowa, had a terrible night, shooting 9-for-32 and just 2-for-16 from three. The result snapped Iowa’s three-game win streak to the season, which included a win over then #8 Virginia Tech. On the opposite side of the court, the win pushed Kansas State to their own 3-0 start.
However, Iowa’s win also marked the third loss by a top-five team in the first two weeks of the season. Last week, preseason #1 LSU was stunned by then #20 Colorado. Just a few days later, preseason #2 UConn was upset by then-unranked North Carolina State. Now Iowa, last season’s national runner-up, has joined the list of early upsets. They weren’t the only ranked team to lose, with #22 Creighton seeing a late rally fall short against Green Bay. Meanwhile, #1 South Carolina, who jumped to the top of the AP Poll after the LSU and UConn results, continued their strong roll, The Gamecocks dominated Clemson 109-40, marking South Carolina’s third consecutive 100-point game. Last season, the Gamecocks only hit triple digits twice in 37 games.
Clark Says “Lots Of Lessons” To Be Taken From Kansas State Loss
Clark was blunt about her performance after the game. “It’s certainly one we can learn from and probably taught us a lot of lessons of how we can get better. We need more people to be able to contribute, and that’s on me to get them involved in the game. Especially on nights where I might not shoot the ball as great. Rely on my teammates, get them open, get them a clean look,” Clark said.
Iowa will likely drop out of the top five come the next AP Poll on Monday – LSU and UConn dropped to #7 and #8 after their respective losses last week. The Hawkeyes have two more games this month, hosting Drake and Purdue Fort Wayne. Drake is ranked #51 in NET ranking, while Purdue Fort Wayne sits at #243. However, Iowa is unlikely to face another ranked team until they play Indiana on January 13. Indiana were #9 in the preseason poll but fell to #13 following a loss to Stanford.