Iowa Women's Basketball

Makenzie Meyer's return was a mixed bag

She played 39-plus minutes, but shot 1-for-8

Makenzie Meyer (3) attempts a 3-pointer under pressure from Drake’s Maddie Monahan (2) in Iowa’s win on Dec. 20. Meyer returned to the Hawkeyes’ lineup Sunday after missing six games with a broken hand. She was 1-of-8 from the field and scored four points in a 77-72 loss to Minnesota, but did amass a career-high four steals. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Makenzie Meyer (3) attempts a 3-pointer under pressure from Drake’s Maddie Monahan (2) in Iowa’s win on Dec. 20. Meyer returned to the Hawkeyes’ lineup Sunday after missing six games with a broken hand. She was 1-of-8 from the field and scored four points in a 77-72 loss to Minnesota, but did amass a career-high four steals. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — There’s reason for concern.

First and foremost, the Iowa Hawkeyes have dried up from the perimeter. Depth is lacking, and that issue isn’t going away.

Reason for concern, but not yet for panic. Because the schedule is about to flip. And because Mak is back.

Makenzie Meyer made her return in the Hawkeyes’ 77-72 loss at Minnesota on Sunday, and it wasn’t as if it was a baby step in terms of her role.

The sophomore from Mason City played 39 minutes, 20 seconds.

“It was probably too much,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said at Monday’s press conference. “But she’s not going to complain.”

Statistically, it wasn’t a triumphant return. Meyer was 1-for-8 from the field and scored four points. She did have four assists and a career-high four steals.

“She hasn’t shot competitively in over a month, so that’s to be expected,” Bluder said. “But she did play some really good defense.”

Meyer had missed the previous six games with a broken bone in her left hand.

Iowa (15-5 overall, 3-4 Big Ten) has dropped three straight games and sits in a ninth-place tie in the league standings. The Hawkeyes have fallen out of the Associated Press rankings (they’re still at No. 20 in the coaches’ poll, with the next list released Tuesday), have slid to 29 in RPI and to a 10 seed in Charlie Creme’s latest NCAA bracketology.

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“That’s how sports go,” guard Kathleen Doyle said. “You win some, you lose some. But we’re still 15-5.”

“Playing five of our first seven (Big Ten) games on the road, we knew it was going to be tough,” post Megan Gustafson said. “It’s not the result we wanted, but we can still do good things.”

The Hawkeyes play six of their final nine regular-season games at home, starting with Thursday’s encounter with No. 10 Ohio State (16-3, 5-1 before Monday’s game at Maryland).

“A win over Ohio State would eliminate a lot of things, wouldn’t it?” Bluder said.

Iowa is 2-for-21 from 3-point range in the last two games.

“We’re not shooting as well as we’re capable of,” Bluder said. “We know we have good shooters.”

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

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