College Womens Basketball

Iowa just misses scoring record in win over Northern Illinois

Women's basketball: Six in double figures; Iowa cruises, 105-80

IOWA CITY — Had she known, Lisa Bluder would have faced a moral dilemma.

Hit the brakes, or pursue a record?

“Ah, you hate to do that to a team, but when you have an opportunity like that, it’s hard to pass that up,” Bluder said.

“Probably a good thing I didn’t know.”

Iowa came within two points of a single-game scoring record, rolling past Northern Illinois, 105-80, in a non-conference women’s basketball game in front of 3,504 Wednesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“That was a track meet,” said Bluder, the Hawkeyes’ head coach. “We’re going to have some tired legs tomorrow.”

The scoring total was fourth-highest in school history. The Hawkeyes scored 107 against USC Upstate on Nov. 14, 2014, and hit for 106 twice.

“It was a lot more fun than scoring and having the other team walk the ball up the floor,” Iowa’s Chase Coley said. “It’s always good to get that push in transition, especially when you can execute on both ends.”

The pace and the push allowed Iowa (3-0) to stuff the stat sheet.

Six players reached double figures, and the Hawkeyes’ 29 assists were three away from a single-game record.

Megan Gustafson had a typical night, posting her third double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds) in three games. It was almost an afterthought.

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Coley added 20 points, Alexis Sevillian 15 (in her first start), Hannah Stewart 13 (in 11 minutes), Tania Davis 12 and Makenzie Meyer 11.

A red-shirt freshman, Sevillian was thrust in the lineup due to the ankle injury of Kathleen Doyle, who did not play.

“(Doyle’s injury) is not as bad as we had feared,” Bluder said. “It’s not a high-ankle sprain. We just don’t know how long she’ll be out. Could be a week, could be 10 days, could be two weeks.”

Gustafson wasn’t the lone Hawkeye double-double. Davis snagged a career-high 10 rebounds.

“Every time we boxed out, we knew we had to pursue the ball,” Davis said. “They shoot a lot of threes, and that leads to long rebounds, easy rebounds for guards.”

The Huskies hoisted 38 long-range shots, hitting 14. Courtney Woods led NIU with 20 points.

Iowa shot 60 percent (42 of 70) from the floor and made all 15 of its free-throw attempts. Meyer dished out eight assists, Davis seven.

NIU (1-1) shot to a 12-4 lead in the first 3 minutes, but it didn’t last long. The Hawkeyes were up 30-20 by the end of the first quarter and took their largest lead of the half (45-27) when Coley beat the Huskies downcourt and took a pass from Davis for a layup.

It was 54-44 at halftime, then 71-62 before the Hawkeyes sandwiched a 12-0 run around the third-quarter break to bust it open. Stewart’s basket at the 2:41 mark sent the Hawkeyes past the century mark for the second time this season. Freshmen Zion Sanders and Paula Valino Ramos accounted for Iowa’s final four points.

Then, with a chance to tie or break the record, the Hawkeyes held the ball and ran out the clock on their final possession.

Iowa hosts Western Michigan at 2 p.m. Sunday.

IOWA 105, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 80

At Iowa City

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NORTHERN ILLINOIS (80): Kelly Smith 4-9 0-0 9, Ally May 3-5 0-0 7, Courtney Woods 8-17 0-0 20, Mikayla Voigt 1-10 0-0 3, Myia Starks 3-6 0-0 6, Errin Hodges 2-4 2-3 6, Gabby Nikitinaite 4-14 0-0 11, Georgia Breunig 0-0 0-0 0, Nicole Orr 0-0 0-0 0, Riley Blackwell 0-1 0-0 0, Janae Poisson 7-18 0-0 18, Paulina Castro 0-0 0-0 0, Abby Woollacott 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-84 2-3 80.

IOWA (105): Chase Coley 8-12 4-4 20, Megan Gustafson 8-11 6-6 22, Makenzie Meyer 5-10 0-0 11, Alexis Sevillian 6-13 0-0 15, Tania Davis 4-8 2-2 12, Hannah Stewart 6-7 1-1 13, Zion Sanders 0-0 2-2 2, Paula Valino Ramos 1-1 0-0 2, Carly Mohns 3-4 0-0 6, Amanda Ollinger 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 42-70 15-15 105.

Halftime: Iowa 54, NIU 44. 3-point goals: NIU 14-38 (Smith 1-2, May 1-1, Woods 4-9, Voigt 1-6, Hodges 0-1, Nikitinaite 3-7, Blackwell 0-1, Poisson 4-11), Iowa 6-18 (Meyer 1-3, Sevillian 3-9, Davis 2-3, Ollinger 0-3). Team fouls: NIU 17, Iowa 7. Fouled out: Smith. Rebounds: NIU 33 (May 8), Iowa 48 (Gustafson 11). Assists: NIU 15 (Voigt 5), Iowa 29 (Meyer 8). Steals: NIU 7 (Woods, Hodges 2), Iowa 2 (Gustafson, Meyer). Turnovers: NIU 9, Iowa 13.

Attendance: 3,504.

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

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