Iowa Women's Basketball

Lauren Jensen will be an outside-shooting option for Iowa women's basketball

Despite a stress fracture last season, combo guard led Lakeville (Minn.) North to state for the 5th straight year

Lauren Jensen of Lakeville North (Minn.) poses with the University of Iowa women's basketball coaching staff upon her co
Lauren Jensen of Lakeville North (Minn.) poses with the University of Iowa women's basketball coaching staff upon her commitment in 2019. (Twitter/@laurenjensen05)

By any measure, Lauren Jensen had a strong finish to her high-school basketball career.

“We had ups and downs like other teams,” Jensen said Friday morning. “But we were playing well by the state tournament.”

Jensen averaged 25 points per game, leading Lakeville (Minn.) North to its fifth consecutive state appearance (it reached the Class 4A quarterfinals and finished 18-11).

Also, consider this:

She was diagnosed with a stress fracture in her right foot around Christmas. She missed three weeks of action, then was in a boot for three weeks after that — other than when she was playing basketball.

Jensen committed to Iowa in March 2019. She is the only non-Iowan in the four-player freshman class of 2020, joining Caitlin Clark (West Des Moines Dowling), Sharon Goodman (Crestwood) and Shateah Wetering (Montezuma).

“I’m really excited,” she said. “My expectations are to go there and work hard.

“I’ve got a lot to get used to. I’m going to do everything I can to contribute.”

Jensen is a shooter, plain and simple. She set the career record for 3-pointers at North. The previous record-holder was Rachel Banham, who later starred at the University of Minnesota.

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“A combo guard,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder called Jensen. “She handles the ball well. She’s a really good shooter.”

And the Hawkeyes can use another shooter after Makenzie Meyer, their most consistent long-range threat from last season, graduated.

That leaves Alexis Sevillian (42 3-pointers in 2019-20) as the top returner. Gabbie Marshall connected on 34 long balls, and McKenna Warnock (29 of 66, 43.5 percent) was tops among regulars in 3-point percentage.

So there’s room for Jensen, if she can find the range consistently.

She’s more than just a sniper, though.

“I’m good from 3-point range, but I’ve developed a good pull-up jump shot, too,” Jensen said. “I can take it to the rim.”

With Clark — projected as one of the top freshmen in the nation — along with Jensen and Sevillian, among others, “we could have three point guards on the floor at the same time,” Bluder said. “Lauren’s definitely capable of playing the 1 or 2 in our system.”

Jensen plans to major in health and human physiology. She will be only the second Hawkeye to wear uniform No. 15; Whitney Jennings was the first.

Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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