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Iowa Women's Basketball

No surprise: Megan Gustafson is Big Ten player of the year

Iowa senior led the league in scoring, rebounding, field-goal rate

Northwestern's Abbie Wolf (21) tries to stop Iowa's Megan Gustafson (10) as she looks for a shot during their game Sunday. Gustafson is the Big Ten women's basketball player of the year. (Cliff Jette /The Gazette)
Northwestern's Abbie Wolf (21) tries to stop Iowa's Megan Gustafson (10) as she looks for a shot during their game Sunday. Gustafson is the Big Ten women's basketball player of the year. (Cliff Jette /The Gazette)

This year, there is no split decision. The coaches and media agree: Megan Gustafson is the Big Ten women’s basketball player of the year.

A senior at the University of Iowa, Gustafson earned top honors when the Big Ten revealed its postseason honors Monday.

“She’s a really, really special talent,” Indiana Coach Teri Moren said during the Big Ten coaches’ teleconference Monday. “She’s a high-energy post player.”

This was no surprise. After all, Gustafson was named the Big Ten player of the week 13 times this season.

A native of Port Wing, Wis., Gustafson is just the fifth Hawkeye in program history to win player-of-the-year honors, and the first to win it twice.

Last year, the media picked Gustafson while the coaches went with Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State.

Gustafson averaged 28.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, and shot 68.7 percent from the field in Big Ten play this season. She registered 20 or more points in 17 of Iowa’s 18 games, including seven 30-point games.

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She ended the regular season ranked in the top five nationally in eight statistical categories, leading the nation in points per game (27.7) and field-goal percentage (.708). She is No. 2 in double-doubles (27) and fourth in rebounds per game (13.3).

“She’s got a great shot to stick in the WNBA,” Minnesota Coach Lindsay Whalen said. “Her footwork, the way she rebounds the ball ... she definitely has a chance.”

Gustfson crossed the 2,600-point career mark Sunday, becoming the 49th player in NCAA Division-I history to get there. She ranked sixth all-time with 82 career double-doubles.

She is a unanimous first-team selection by the coaches and media. Kathleen Doyle joins her on the coaches’ first team and is a second-team pick by the media. Tania Davis earned honorable mention.

Gustafson was named to the coaches’ all-conference defensive team.

Brenda Frese of Maryland, a Cedar Rapids native, was tabbed as the conference coach of the year by both sources after leading the Terrapins to the regular-season league title.

Iowa (23-6 overall, 14-4 Big Ten) finished second. The Hawkeyes will face Minnesota or Indiana in the tournament quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. (Iowa time) Friday.

All-Big Ten women's basketball 2019

MEDIA HONORS

Player of the Year: Megan Gustafson, Iowa

Freshman of the Year: Naz Hillmon, Michigan

Coach of the Year: Brenda Frese, Maryland

MEDIA FIRST TEAM

Megan Gustafson, Iowa

Kaila Charles, Maryland

Taylor Mikesell, Maryland

Naz Hillmon, Michigan

Kenisha Bell, Minnesota

Destiny Pitts, Minnesota

Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanaha, Northwestern

Lindsey Pulliam, Northwestern

Teniya Page, Penn State

Karissa McLaughlin, Purdue

MEDIA SECOND TEAM

Alex Wittinger, Illinois

Ali Patberg, Indiana

Kathleen Doyle, Iowa

Stephanie Jones, Maryland

Hallie Thome, Michigan

Jenna Allen, Michigan State

Shay Colley, Michigan State

Ae'Rianna Harris, Purdue

Stasha Carey, Rutgers

Marsha Howard, Wisconsin

COACHES HONORS

Player of the Year: Megan Gustafson, Iowa

Freshman of the Year: Taylor Mikesell, Maryland

Coach of the Year: Brenda Frese, Maryland

Defensive Player of the Year: Ae'Rianna Harris, Purdue

Sixth Player of the Year: Naz Hillmon, Michigan

COACHES FIRST TEAM

Kathleen Doyle, Iowa

Megan Gustafson, Iowa

Kaila Charles, Maryland

Naz Hillmon, Michigan

Hallie Thome, Michigan

Shay Colley, Michigan State

Kenisha Bell, Minnesota

Lindsey Pulliam, Northwestern

Teniya Page, Penn State

Karissa McLaughlin, Purdue

COACHES SECOND TEAM

Alex Wittinger, Illinois

Ali Patberg, Indiana

Jaelynn Penn, Indiana

Taylor Mikesell, Maryland

Jenna Allen, Michigan State

Destiny Pitts, Minnesota

Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanaha, Northwestern

Dorka Juhasz, Ohio State

Ae'Rianna Harris, Purdue

Stasha Carey, Rutgers

COACHES ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Shakira Austin, Maryland

Taylor Mikesell, Maryland

Naz Hillmon, Michigan

Nia Clouden, Michigan State

Dorka Juhasz, Ohio State

COACHES ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

Alex Wittinger, Illinois

Megan Gustafson, Iowa

Shakira Austin, Maryland

Kenisha Bell, Minnesota

Ae'Rianna Harris, Purdue

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

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