College Womens Basketball

Iowa women's basketball completes state sweep with 79-66 win over Drake

Makenzie Meyer matches career-high 21 for Hawkeyes

IOWA CITY — For the Iowa Hawkeyes, it’s a happy wrap on the non-conference chapter.

Megan Gustafson posted her 12th double-double of the season, Makenzie Meyer matched a career-high, and the 25th-ranked Hawkeyes held Drake to 31-percent shooting in a 79-66 women’s basketball victory in front of 4,847 Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“We’ve had a really good non-conference season,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said after the Hawkeyes improved to 12-1. “We’re state champs, and we’re happy about that.”

Iowa swept its three in-state rivals for the first time since 2014-15.

“To win all three games, we proved we’re the best team in the state,” Meyer said. “As an Iowa girl, that’s special for me.”

A sophomore from Mason City, Meyer scored 21 points. That featured 5-of-10 shooting from long range. It also included a couple of circus shots around the rim.

“The first one, I just tried to roll it up off the glass,” she said. “I was surprised it went in.”

Gustafson posted 27 points and 12 rebounds in the kind of stat line that, fairly or not, you take for granted any more.

This was the Hawkeyes’ first game since being jolted by the news that point guard Tania Davis would miss the rest of the season due to a torn ACL in her left knee.

Davis injured the knee Sunday against Northern Iowa.

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“When Tania texted us to tell us the news, she was really positive,” Meyer said. “She didn’t want it to be about her.”

Gustafson said, “Even though we lost her on the floor, she’s still right there with us.”

Alexis Sevillian, Davis’ high-school teammate and current roommate, took Davis’ spot in the starting lineup and added 12 points, hitting 4 of 8 from deep.

The Hawkeyes broke it open in the second quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs (5-7) by a 25-12 count and pushing their lead to 46-27 at halfime.

“Iowa is a good team,” said Drake Coach Jennie Baranczyk, a former Hawkeye (2000-04). “I don’t know if anyone has had an answer for Gustafson, and Meyer came out and shot really, really well today. Give a lot of credit to them.

“They played spirited today. Losing Davis, it’s just a travesty for her.”

The second-quarter push was enough. Drake outworked the Hawkeyes on the glass in the second half; the Bulldogs finished with 27 offensive rebounds and owned a 48-40 advantage overall.

“The second quarter was as good of basketball as we’ve played all year,” Bluder said. “The second half, we played good enough to hang on to the win.”

Drake didn’t shoot well enough to make a serious dent into the lead. The Bulldogs made 25 of 80 shots, including 8 of 39 from 3-point range.

Junior Becca Hittner led the Bulldogs with 27 points. Becca Jonas added 12.

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The Hawkeyes scattered after the game for four days with their families. They’ll reconvene Tuesday, then open Big Ten play next Thursday at Wisconsin.

Drake faces Valparaiso in its Missouri Valley Conference opener next Friday in Des Moines.

IOWA 79, DRAKE 66

At Iowa City

DRAKE (66): Brenni Rose 1-7 0-0 3, Becca Jonas 5-8 1-2 12, Maddie Monahan 1-4 0-0 2, Becca Hittner 11-24 2-3 27, Sammie Bachrodt 3-9 0-0 7, Paige Greiner 2-4 0-0 6, Maddy Dean 0-7 0-0 0, Hannah Fuller 0-2 1-2 1, Nicole Miller 1-5 0-0 2, Katie Van Scyoc 0-1 0-0 0, Sara Rhine 1-9 4-4 6. Totals 25-80 8-11 66.

IOWA (79): Chase Coley 1-3 0-0 2, Megan Gustafson 11-17 5-7 27, Makenzie Meyer 7-15 2-3 21, Alexis Sevillian 4-8 0-0 12, Kathleen Doyle 3-11 0-0 8, Hannah Stewart 3-5 0-0 6, Zion Sanders 0-0 0-0 0, Paula Valino Ramos 0-0 0-0 0, Carly Mohns 1-2 0-0 2, Amanda Ollinger 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 30-62 8-12 79.

Halftime: Iowa 46, Drake 27. 3-point goals: Drake 8-39 (Rose 1-2, Jonas 1-2, Monahan 0-2, Hittner 3-11, Bachrodt 1-7, Greiner 2-4, Dean 0-5, Fuller 0-2, Miller 0-2, Van Scyoc 0-1, Rhine 0-1), Iowa 11-22 (Meyer 5-10, Sevillian 4-8, Doyle 2-3, Olliger 0-1). Team fouls: Drake 16, Iowa 10. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Drake 48 (Bachrodt, Miller 8), Iowa 40 (Gustafson 12). Assists: Drake 15 (Miller 4), Iowa 25 (Meyer 7). Steals: Drake 12 (Monahan, Miller 3), Iowa 7 (Gustafson, Stewart 2). Turnovers: Drake 16, Iowa 18.

Attendance: 4,847.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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