By DARREN MILLER
LOS ANGELES — Creighton led for more than 30 minutes and held on to upset the University of Iowa, 76-70, on Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament in front of 2,304 in Pauley Pavillion.
The Hawkeyes retire with a record of 24-8 overall, Creighton improved to 19-12 and advances to play UCLA on Monday.
“I’m proud of our team,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We have a young team, starting one senior, we battled through a lot this year. I’m proud of the team and how they handled everything this year and we made it back to the tournament.”
Iowa junior All-American Megan Gustafson posted game-highs of 29 points and 17 rebounds. She made 12 of 16 field goals and scored 13 of Iowa’s 20 fourth-quarter points.
“This sets us up for next year,” Gustafson said. “We are young and having experience in the NCAA is huge, especially for our younger players. This is our first time and we definitely want to get back next year to make some noise.”
It is the first NCAA Tournament trip for the Hawkeyes since advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2015.
Two other Hawkeyes — Kathleen Doyle and Hannah Stewart — scored in double figures. Doyle scored 11 points with eight assists and Stewart added 10 points in 20 minutes.
The game was tied at 19 after a first quarter that saw Iowa make 7 of 12 field goals (58.3 percent). The Hawkeyes finished the game by making 26 of 56 field goals (46.4).
Iowa held edges in most statistical categories, including rebounding (39 to 28), field goal percentage (46.4 to 43.1), free throw percentage (88.2 to 68.0), and paint points (36 to 22). Creighton made 9 of 24 3-point field goals and compiled 18 more points than Iowa from distance.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“Creighton did a great job of clock management. At the end of the game they scored on every single last-second shot clock look and did a good job.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Creighton led for 30:06 of the game; Iowa was in the lead for 2:29. The game was tied for 7:25.
Gustafson scored 20 or more points 24 times in 32 games this season.
Saturday’s NCAA Tournament game marked the end of the collegiate playing careers for Chase Coley and Carly Mohns. Coley played 20 minutes, scoring seven points with six rebounds; Mohns played two minutes.