Kansas State beats No. 4 Iowa in an exciting fourth-quarter comeback

The K-State Wildcats played the University of Central Arkansas Sugar Bears on November 8, 2022 at the Bramlage Coliseum. The Wildcats won their season opener at home 83-43. (Archive photo by Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State is causing an upset with 84-83 for 4th-ranked Iowa and taking the Wildcats 3-0 this season.

The win marks the fifth time in program history that it has defeated a top-five AP opponent, and the second time in two seasons the Wildcats have won against a top-10 opponent.

In the final quarter of the game, K-State crawled back from a seven-point deficit, with sophomore guard Serena Sundell scoring key hits to keep up with Iowa’s offense.

In the final four minutes, K-State forward Sarah Shematsi notched her sixth 3-pointer of the game, marking her career-high 3-pointer in a game. She reduced Iowa’s lead to two and shifted the momentum in K-State’s favor.

Sophomore guard Jaelyn Glenn made a big play for the Wildcats in the third minute, capturing a crucial steal and goal. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark responded, sinking a three from the deep to put Iowa back on the three.

Gabby Gregory would end the game for the Wildcats by hitting four fouls in the last three minutes of the game to go 6-8 on free throw attempts, her last effort rebounded by Iowa, who quickly called for a timeout.

Three seconds before the end, Iowa threw the ball to Monika Czinano, who usually drove to the basket with the last second. The game was penalized as a foul, but after a review, the officials decided that the ball had not left Czinano’s hand in time, ending the game.

K-State’s young core would have a major impact on the game – Gregory, Sundell and Shematsi would all be major contributors to the Wildcat’s victory.

Gregory and Sundell had the most points (24) and Sundell had the most rebounds (6) and led the team in assists (5).

“I thought Serena [Sundell] made big games,” said head coach Jeff Mittie. “I thought Sarah Shematsi hit big shots. Gabi [Gregory] really wanted us to the free-throw line in the end and played so hard and aggressively.

Shematsi put numbers past the arc, was the team’s leading 3-point scorer and set her career record for three-pointers in a game of six.

Iowa’s offense would prove efficient for much of the game, with veteran leaders on the roster teaming up. Iowa’s roster includes seven senior players, most notably Clark, who came into the game averaging over 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game.

“There are games across the country that are considered some of the best,” Mittie said. “And I think this will go down in non-con as one of the better games of preseason. And in my career we’ve certainly played a lot of top five, but when we beat them it’s special.”

K-State will look to continue its momentum in its next game at Bramlage Stadium on Friday, November 18 at 6:30 p.m. against Texas-Rio Grande Valley.