Kansas State beats No. 4 Iowa in a thrilling fourth quarter comeback

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

Kansas State pulls off an upset over No. 4 Iowa 84-83, moving the Wildcats to 3-0 on the season. 

The win marks the fifth time in program history it has beaten a top-5 ranked AP opponent, and the second time in two seasons the Wildcats have won against a top-10 opponent.

The last quarter of the game saw K-State crawl back from a seven-point deficit, with key scoring plays made by sophomore guard Serena Sundell to keep pace with Iowa’s offense.

In the final four minutes, K-State’s graduate student forward Sarah Shematsi scored her sixth 3-pointer of the game, marking her career high of 3-pointers in one game. She cut the Iowa lead down to two, shifting the momentum in K-State’s favor.

Sophomore guard Jaelyn Glenn made a huge play for the Wildcats in the third minute, capturing a pivotal steal and score. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark responded, sinking a three from deep to put Iowa back up three. 

Gabby Gregory would finish the game off for the Wildcats, getting four fouls in the final three minutes of the game to go 6-8 on free throw attempts, having her final attempt rebounded by Iowa who quickly called for a timeout. 

With three seconds left in the game, Iowa inbounded the ball to Monika Czinano driving to the basket with the final second in regulation. A foul would be called on the play, but after review the officials ruled the ball did not leave Czinano’s hand in time, ending the game.

K-State’s young core would make a heavy impact on the game — Gregory, Sundell and Shematsi would all have a large contributing factor to the Wildcat victory.

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

 “I thought Serena [Sundell] made big plays,” head coach Jeff Mittie said. “I thought Sarah Shematsi hit big shots. Gabby [Gregory] at the end really willed us to the free throw line and was playing so tough and aggressive.”

Shematsi put up numbers beyond the arc, being the teams leading 3-point scorer and setting her career record for threes in a game with six.

Iowa’s offense would prove to be efficient for much of the game, with veteran leaders on the roster who gel together. Iowa’s roster includes seven upperclassmen, 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 looked at as some of the best games,” Mittie said. “And I think this will go down as one of the better early-season games in the non-con. And in my career, we’ve certainly played a lot of top-fives, but when we beat them, it’s special.”

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