Iowa coach lambasts Nebraska official for playing music during free throws Sunday


Iowa missed six of its 15 free throw attempts in Sunday’s upset loss to Nebraska on Sunday, and frustration over the Cornhuskers’ in-arena music — and the impact it had on the Hawkeyes’ attempts from the line — boiled over postgame.

After Iowa fell 82-79, coach Lisa Bluder had plenty to be annoyed about before postgame interviews started. First, her team’s offense fell apart as star Caitlin Clark went cold in the fourth quarter, then her No. 2 Hawkeyes fell to unranked Nebraska in an upset in front of thousands of rowdy Cornhusker faithful.

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But after the game, her frustration was in regards to the arena noise and the news conference protocols, as she was seen yelling at a Nebraska official in the hallway outside the interview room.

Due to on-court celebrations, which delayed both teams from getting to their locker rooms, the ordering of the post-game interviews was reversed and Nebraska players took the podium first. Jeff Griesch, the Nebraska media relations director, told reporters that if Iowa players showed up while Nebraska players were still talking, he would pull them off to put the Hawkeyes at the podium.

As Nebraska star Alexis Markowski was fielding a question, Bluder, Clark and Kate Martin came to the door. While Markowski attempted to finish her answer, Bluder could be heard yelling at Griesch in the background.

“We’ve got a flight to catch. This is bulls—. This is not Big Ten protocol,” Bluder could be heard saying, before later adding, “They play music while you shoot free throws?”

After no change was made to the order of the interviews, Bluder left and did not return, despite speaking to several reporters from Iowa in the hallway.

Clark and Martin, however, did take their spots at the podium about five minutes after that.

Clark, who scored 31 points and finished eight points shy of the NCAA women’s all-time scoring mark, told reporters she “didn’t even notice” the music.

The music during the free throws appeared to be played during the second half, when Clark took four consecutive free throws — two for a foul and two for a technical foul on Nebraska coach Amy Williams. Clark missed two of the attempts.

Regarding Bluder’s worry about missing a flight, the Iowa women have flown charter this season, and their flight home to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a quick trip from Lincoln, Neb., meaning they wouldn’t have to worry about missing a commercial flight.

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(Photo: Steven Branscombe / Getty Images)





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