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Iowa women's basketball left Ames joyous, exhausted and sore

First Hilton win since 1989 puts Iowa at 9-1

The Iowa Hawkeyes celebrate after their 61-55 women's basketball win at Iowa State on Wednesday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — In the locker room, they celebrated. On the bus, they crashed.

“It was a fun night,” Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder said Thursday in reference to Wednesday’s 61-55 victory at Iowa State, the Hawkeyes’ first win in Ames since 1989. “It was such a joyful locker room afterward.”

Wednesday was assistant coach Jan Jensen’s 49th birthday, and the Hawkeyes were waiting for her as she entered the locker room.

“Hannah Stewart grabbed her, and it was like they were doing the Panchero’s Burrito Lift with her,” Bluder said.

By the end of the 2 1/2-hour ride back to Iowa City, the adrenaline had worn off.

“It was pretty quiet, but Makenzie (Meyer) and I were talking kind of quiet,” Tania Davis said. “Then when I got home, I wasn’t able to sleep. All that excitement, it was so much fun.”

One of two Iowans on the Hawkeyes’ roster, Meyer capitalized when the Cyclones sagged on Megan Gustafson, hitting four 3-pointers in the first half and scoring a game-high 18 points.

“Winning over there ... it was something I’ve been dreaming of for a very long time,” said Meyer, who grew up in Mason City, about an hour north of Ames. “It was magical. We were on Cloud Nine.”

Gustafson wore an ice bag on her thigh in the press room afterward. Bluder said there was “no injury,” that Gustafson was just sore.

“She took a lot of cheap shots (Wednesday),” Bluder said. “She was getting beat up in there.”

Kathleen Doyle said, “It was very physical. Just part of a typical rivalry game.”

Doyle was on the receiving end of some barbs from the student section during the halftime shoot-around. She turned, looked and laughed.

“Somebody was talking to me,” she said. “Usually you can’t hear anybody in particular, but the student section is so close to the court. I live for that kind of stuff.”

The Hawkeyes (9-1) host Arkansas-Pine Bluff (2-5) at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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