116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Hawkeye reserve then.
Hawkeye heartbreaker now.
Lauren Jensen returned to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, scored nine of her team-high 19 points in the final 4:43 and helped Creighton spoil eighth-ranked Iowa’s party, 64-62, in an NCAA women’s basketball second-round game before a sellout crowd of 14,382 Sunday afternoon.
“It’s crazy. It's honestly so surreal,” said Jensen, a Creighton sophomore who transferred from Iowa about 11 months ago.
“I feel like it hasn't really set in yet that we're going to the Sweet 16 and just the fact that it was here, still kind of processing that one a little bit.”
The Bluejays (22-9) are in the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history. They’ll face No. 10 Iowa State or Georgia on Friday at Greensboro, N.C.
ISU (27-6) and Georgia (21-9) tipped off at 7 p.m. Sunday.
From an Iowa perspective, this certainly wasn’t the way this one was supposed to go. The Hawkeyes (24-8) had won eight straight games and were firing on cylinders.
On this day, though, they shot 35.7 percent from the field (the first time under 40 percent all season), and their 62 points was a season-low.
Carver was sold out for the third straight women’s game. This time, the masses went home massively disappointed.
“I apologize to our fans that they couldn't celebrate a victory with us today,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said.
There was no celebration, and there will be no trip to Greensboro, because Creighton owned the glass by a 52-37 margin and outscored the Hawkeyes 19-8 in second-chance points.
“Obviously in games we've lost, rebounding has been a pretty big issue for us, and it was tonight,” Clark said. “When people get more opportunities, basically double you up on opportunities to shoot the ball, it's going to be really hard to win a basketball game.
“Yeah, rebounding was an issue.”
Yeah, and Jensen had a storybook return to Carver.
Last year, as a freshman, she appeared in 18 games for Iowa, averaging 7 minutes and 1.3 points per game. She entered the transfer portal in April, landed at Creighton soon thereafter, and stuck it to the Hawkeyes on Sunday.
“Storybook,” Creighton Coach Jim Flanery said. “I've gotten the question a lot, how is Lauren going to feel today, what's Lauren going to play like, da da da da.
“Those last few minutes had to be magical and special, and we're super proud of her and we're super proud that she's part of our program.”
Iowa scored eight straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by Gabbie Marshall, to take a 58-54 lead. The stretch run belonged to Jensen.
Her drive with 4:43 left snapped a scoring drought of nearly four minutes and brought the Bluejays within 58-56.
Monika Czinano found Kate Martin under the basket to make it 60-56, then Jensen scored again to bring the Bluejays back within two.
McKenna Warnock’s putback made it 62-58, then Jensen scored again on a drive to cut it to 62-60.
Then came Jensen’s shot of the game, a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left to put the Jays in front, 63-62.
“Obviously I'm pretty familiar with the arena because I played here all of last year; I felt like that definitely helped,” Jensen said. “But on the flipside, there's also some nerves with that because I'm wearing a different color this year.”
Iowa still had two chances.
Clark misfired on a drive to the hoop, and the Hawkeyes fouled. Emma Ronsiek’s free throw with 3.8 seconds left gave Creighton a 64-62 advantage.
After a timeout advanced the ball to midcourt, Czinano got the ball in the middle of the lane. Her hook shot was short, Kate Martin’s tip was off the mark, and Warnock’s desperation fling was after the buzzer.
“I've shot a million hook shots in my life and that one happened to not go in,” Czinano said. “We’ve run that play a lot. We needed to run that play, and it was just unfortunate that it didn't go in.”
Czinano led the Hawkeyes with 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting (she made her first six). Clark added 15 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists, but shot 4-for-19 from the floor.
The rest of the roster was 9 of 31.
Ronsiek and Payton Brotzki added 13 points apiece for Creighton. Morgan Maly scored eight points and led the Bluejays’ rebounding onslaught, with 13.
Creighton 64, Iowa 62
NCAA Second Round, at Iowa City
CREIGHTON (64): Carly Bachelor 1-3 0-0 2, Emma Ronsiek 5-14 2-4 13, Tatum Rembao 1-3 0-0 2, Lauren Jensen 8-15 0-0 19, Payton Brotzki 4-12 2-2 13, Morgan Maly 2-8 2-2 8, Rachael Saunders 0-4 0-0 0, Molly Mogensen 3-8 0-2 7, Mallory Brake 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-67 6-10 64.
IOWA (62): McKenna Warnock 3-9 0-0 6, Monika Czinano 12-20 3-4 27, Kate Martin 2-9 0-0 4, Caitlin Clark 4-19 4-4 15, Gabbie Marshall 2-7 0-0 6, Tomi Taiwo 1-3 0-0 2, Addison O’Grady 0-2 0-0 0, Kylie Feuerbach 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 25-70 7-8 62.
Creighton 23 15 13 13 — 64
Iowa 17 15 16 14 — 62
3-point goals: Creighton 10-34 (Bachelor 0-2, Ronsiek 1-6, Jensen 3-7, Brotzki 3-8, Maly 2-6, Saunders 0-2, Mogensen 1-3), Iowa 5-22 (Warnock 0-2, Martin 0-4, Clark 3-10, Marshall 2-6). Team fouls: Creighton 12, Iowa 10. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Creighton 52 (Maly 13), Iowa 37 (Clark 8). Assists: Creighton 15 (Rembao 5), Iowa 18 (Clark 11). Steals: Creighton 3 (three with 1), Iowa 9 (Warnock, Martin, Taiwo 2). Turnovers: Creighton 14, Iowa 6.