Iowa closes the books on Southeastern’s Cinderella Story

After winning the Southland Conference Championship, the Lady Lions met their match against No. 2-seeded Iowa. They lost 95-43 in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. 

All-American honoree Caitlin Clark carved up Southeastern’s defense with 26 points, seven boards and twelve assists in just 29 minutes of action. Clark shot 64% from the field and 50% from three in the match. 

As for SLU, guard Cierria Cunningham dropped 15 points while shooting 60% from three. Guard Jen Pierre led the team in assists with seven, while Chrissy Brown pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and three steals. 

The Hawkeyes started the game on fire, going on a quick 8-0 run to start. Southeastern responded with a 6-2 run to cut the lead to four points in the early stages of the first quarter. 

Iowa would maintain their lead; however, as Clark scored 12 of the Hawkeyes’ 28 points in the opening period. 

Midway through the second quarter, Iowa took a 16-point lead after a made basket by guard Monika Czinano. SLU went on an 8-3 with 3:46 remaining in the half. 

Brown scored four points and grabbed a steal during this stretch to bring Southeastern within striking distance. 

The No. 2 seed effectively put the game away in the first half by ending the second quarter on a 16-5 run. Southeastern found themselves down 22 points heading into halftime.

In the second half, the Lady Lions scored just 11 points. For the total game, they shot 25.4% from the field and 4-22 (18.2%) from three. Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes shot 60% from the field and cashed in 15-18 (83.3%) from the charity stripe. 

All in all, it was a successful season for Southeastern. From Jan. 19 to March 1, the Lady Lions only suffered two losses. During this stretch, they had the best defense in the conference and the fourth-best offense. 

The Green and Gold ended their year with a 21-10 record (14-4 SLC) and an 11-1 home record, which was the best in the Southland Conference.  

SLU will look to build upon its success this season heading into the 2023-24 campaign.