November 18, 2022 

Iowa faces double loss as Caitlin Clark injures her ankle against Kansas State

'She twisted an ankle. She had twisted it earlier. Same one, unfortunately'

No. 4 Iowa suffered two significant losses Thursday night at Bramlage Coliseum. The team fell 84-83 to Kansas State, and All-American Caitlin Clark fell to the floor with an apparent ankle injury in the final 3.8 seconds of the game.

Kansas State’s Gabby Gregory was awarded two free throws in the last 4.7 seconds of the game. She made the first but missed the second, and Iowa’s Hannah Stuelke rebounded the ball. With 3.8 seconds left on the clock, Iowa called timeout. The Wildcats led by one point, 84-83.

Coming out of the timeout, Clark attempted to free herself from the defense and got her feet tangled with another player. She immediately collapsed to the floor and held her ankle.

Meanwhile, Iowa’s Monika Czinano was fouled while attempting the potential game-winning shot. The contact, however, was made after the buzzer. There was conjecture about the review, but the call was made correctly according to officials.

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Women’s college basketball is dealing with a number of injuries this year. Paige Bueckers, UConn’s star guard, suffered a torn ACL even before the season began. Baylor’s Aijha Blackwell is expected to miss a large part of the season after she suffered a lower-leg injury during Baylor’s win over SMU on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder gave few details about Clark’s injury. “Do not have any idea,” Bluder said when speaking to the media following the game. “She twisted an ankle. She had twisted it earlier. Same one, unfortunately.”

Clark is yet another in the growing list of significant players to go down with an injury, although her current status and timetable to return are unknown. With the season less than two weeks old, a long-term absence would be a significant blow to Iowa. Clark had 27 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists in the loss, and ranks 11th in scoring and 15th in assists through the first four games of the season.

If Clark were to have an extended absence, the offensive load would likely have to shift to Czinano, an efficient high-volume scorer herself, but a player who doesn’t single-handedly stretch opposing defenses to the same degree as Clark.

The Hawkeyes play the Belmont Bruins this Sunday, Nov. 20, before taking part in the Phil Knight Legacy College Basketball Tournament with an opening-round game against Oregon State on Nov. 25.

Written by Vishakha Deshpande

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