LOS ANGELES – Jaylyn Agnew scored 24 points and Sydney Lamberty added 20 to lead No. 11 Creighton to a 76-70 win over No. 6 seeded Iowa in a first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
The Bluejays (19-12) advances to the second round and will play UCLA on Monday.
Agnew and Lamberty combined to make 16 of 26 shots. Lamberty also had six assists and five rebounds and Audrey Faber added 12 points for Creighton.
Megan Gustafson scored 29 points and had 17 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (24-8).
The Bluejays never trailed in the second half, but had to hold off stubborn Iowa. The Hawkeyes cut the lead to 59-55 with 6:35 to play but Lamberty scored four straight baskets for Creighton to foil Iowa’s comeback bid.
Lamberty’s layup with 1:37 to play gave Creighton a 68-61 lead. The Bluejays then made 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
Agnew made three 3-pointers and scored 11 points in the first half to give the Bluejays a 34-31 lead at the break. Meghan Gustafson scored 16 points and had 11 rebounds for the Hawkeyes in the opening half. Iowa shot 52 percent in the first half and outrebounded Creighton 20-12 but committed 9 turnovers and trailed by 3 at halftime.
Agnew scored 11 points and the Hawkeyes shooting cooled off as Creighton maintained a slim 56-50 lead after three quarters.
The Bluejays snapped a four-game losing streak to Iowa.
Iowa: Gustafson is the only player in the country averaging 25 or more points and 12 or more rebounds per game and is one of two NCAA women basketball players to do so in the last 10 years. She was named Big Ten Player of the Year and has registered 28 double doubles this season and has recorded double doubles in 33 of her last 40 games.
Creighton: The Bluejays return to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time under head coach Jim Flanery and the seventh time in program history. Creighton is 5-6 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Creighton: The Bluejays will face UCLA on Monday. The Bruins beat American to advance.
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