March 23, 2023

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NCAA Women's Championship: Creighton beats Iowa State to reach 16th

NCAA Women’s Championship: Creighton beats Iowa State to reach 16th

Creighton’s women’s basketball team made its first in the round of 16, and it did so with late drama worthy of an NCAA Championship.

Lauren Jensen, a freshman playing for Creighton after moving from Iowa State, shut the door to her former team on her court with a green pointer at the last minute to help secure a 64-62 win over second-seeded hockey.

“They were the top seed, we were the top 10, so we had nothing to lose in this,” Jensen, who scored 9 points in the fourth quarter, told ESPN after the match, before her teammates emptied water bottles over her head. “We played well all season. We believe in each other, we play together, and we knew if we played our game we would do well.”

Iowa State was a popular pick to reach the Final Four, mostly due to the remarkable play of second guard Caitlin Clark, who entered the game as the Division I top scorer, averaging 27.4 points per game. Creighton maintained 15 points in 4 of 19 rebounds, despite having 11 assists and nearly eight rebounds.

Iowa’s young Gabe Marshall, 3-pointer, put the Hawkeyes ahead less than seven minutes before the end of the fourth quarter after they trailed by as much as 12 late into the second quarter. Creighton regained his lead when 15 seconds left on the Jensen 3 Index.

“This is for everyone who played at Creighton, who wore a uniform and brought us here,” Creighton coach Jim Flannery told ESPN. “Finally getting to the Sweet 16 is really special – special for this team, and special for the program.”

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This is Flanery’s 20th season as a coach for Creighton, and the team’s fifth NCAA Championship appearance under him. In the round of 16, the Bluejays will play the winning Iowa State game No. 3 on Sunday night against sixth-seeded Georgia.