Redshirt year served Iowa's Alexis Sevillian well

Women's basketball: Guard is averaging 14 ppg in rookie season

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IOWA CITY — Last season could have been a lost season for Alexis Sevillian.

“We felt she was going to get lost in our rotation,” Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder said. “We thought a year of her working on her game would really help, and would utilize her four years (of eligibility better).”

So Bluder approached Sevillian with the idea of a redshirt year, but the final call belonged to Sevillian and her parents.

They approved.

“I’m really thankful, because it appears to have worked out perfectly,” Bluder said.

A year older, stronger and smarter, Sevillian has been a key contributor in her first season in uniform.

She is averaging 14.0 points per game, and the Hawkeyes take a 4-0 record to the Puerto Rico Classic at Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The four-day, three-game event was moved because of the devastation in Puerto Rico caused in September by Hurricane Maria.

Iowa will face Morgan State (0-2) at 12:30 p.m. (Iowa time) Wednesday, Charlotte (2-2) at 11 a.m. Thursday and Elon (3-0) at 4 p.m. Saturday.

“On paper, Elon is supposed to be the toughest (opponent),” Bluder said. “They haven’t played great competition yet, but they’re scoring 90 points per game and allowing (51.7).”

The Hawkeyes are 4-0 for the fifth straight year. Sevillian has started the last two games after Kathleen Doyle suffered a sprained ankle Nov. 11, and posted 19 points and six assists in a 79-56 win over Western Michigan on Sunday.

Bluder said that Doyle “got into a few reps” at practice Monday, and probably will be available to play Wednesday.

“If we can have her, that would be great,” Bluder said. “With three games in four days, we can use the added depth, especially with the kind of pace we play.”

A week after earning Big Ten player-of-the-week honors, junior post Megan Gustafson was honored again, this time on the conference honor roll.

Gustafson is averaging 22.0 points and 14.0 rebounds per game.

“You just assume that she’s going to have a double-double every time out,” Bluder said. “It’s almost unfair, the expectations we put on her.

“She was going up against the gray-team men (Monday) and diving on the floor for a loose ball,” Bluder said. “She never takes a possession off.”

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

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