Iowa Women's Basketball

From 1 to 36: The Iowa women's basketball home win streak

Hawkeyes' last loss at Carver-Hawkeye Arena was Jan. 28, 2018

Iowa Hawkeyes forward Monika Czinano (25) and Iowa Hawkeyes guard Kathleen Doyle (22) joke around on the bench at an Iow
Iowa Hawkeyes forward Monika Czinano (25) and Iowa Hawkeyes guard Kathleen Doyle (22) joke around on the bench at an Iowa Hawkeyes basketball game with the North Carolina Central Eagles at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. Iowa won the game, 102-50. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — This was going to be Selection Monday.

This was going to be the day the Iowa Hawkeyes learned their NCAA women’s basketball tournament fate. Would they be playing two games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where they have been unbeatable for 2 1/2 seasons?

Of course, we’ll never know. The COVID-19 pandemic ended the basketball season, prematurely and historically.

So let’s look back at happier days with a 1-through-36 review of the Hawkeyes’ win streak at Carver. It began after a 92-74 loss to Nebraska on Jan. 28, 2018.

1. Iowa 92, Minnesota 84 (Feb. 4, 2018) — Five Hawkeyes scored in double figures, led by Megan Gustafson (25 points, 15 rebounds ... and you’ll hear about her in most of the first 21 games of this streak). Iowa put together runs of 13-2 and 10-0 in the first half for a 48-33 halftime lead and cruised home from there, despite 35 points from Kenisha Bell.

2. Iowa 80, Penn State 76 (Feb. 8, 2018) — Iowa built a 15-point halftime lead, then held off the Nittany Lions, who got within 75-73 and 78-76 before the Hawkeyes closed it out. Megan Gustafson posted 33 points and 14 rebounds, and more than doubled her career-high for assists, with seven. Chase Coley added a career-high 24 points.

3. Iowa 88, Wisconsin 61 (Feb. 18, 2018) — Iowa took command immediately in this one, leading 23-13 after one quarter and 45-23 at halftime. Four Hawkeyes reached double figures, led by Megan Gustafson’s 25 points. Alexis Sevillan added 19.

4. Iowa 75, Indiana 62 (Feb. 24, 2018) — In the home swan song for seniors Chase Coley and Carly Mohns, the Hawkeyes cruised behind Megan Gustafson, who tallied 36 points and 15 rebounds. The Hawkeyes bolted to a 20-5 lead and finished 11-5 in the Big Ten, good for a No. 5 seed in the Big Ten tournament.

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5. Iowa 90, Oral Roberts 77 (Nov. 9, 2018) — Hannah Stewart scored a career-high 19 points as the Hawkeyes won their 2018-19 season opener with ease. Ten players saw action by the end of the first quarter, and Iowa led 34-9 early in the second. ORU got within 11 points late.

6. Iowa 106, North Carolina Central 39 (Nov. 17, 2018) — Iowa set a school record with 36 assists (on 41 baskets), and the 67-point rout was the Hawkeyes’ second most decisive in school history. Makenzie Meyer scored 16 points and matched her career-high in assists, with eight.

7. Iowa 92, Robert Morris 63 (Dec. 2, 2018) — Iowa’s post trio of Megan Gustafson (32 points), Hannah Stewart (16) and Monika Czinano (nine) combined to make 23 of 27 shots from the field, and the Hawkeyes ended a two-game losing streak (to Florida State and Notre Dame). Iowa outrebounded the Colonials by a 36-15 margin.

8. Iowa 73, Iowa State 70 (Dec. 5, 2018) — Tania Davis hit a fadeaway 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left, then Iowa State freshman Ashley Joens missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as the Hawkeyes defeated the Cyclones for the third straight year. Kathleen Doyle played her first game of the season (she missed the first seven with a broken hand) and scored 22 points, and Megan Gustafson became the school’s all-time leading rebounder.

9. Iowa 72, IUPUI 58 (Dec. 8, 2018) — With the game tied early in the fourth quarter, Megan Gustafson scored 16 of her 32 points in a decisive surge as the Hawkeyes pulled away. Gustafson became the second Iowa player — and the seventh from the Big Ten — to record more than 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.

10. Iowa 83, Northern Iowa 57 (Dec. 16, 2018) — The Hawkeyes ended the first half with a 17-2 rush and defeated UNI for the 12th straight time. Megan Gustafson recorded 28 points (on 11-of-14 shooting) and 12 rebounds, and three other Hawkeyes hit double figures.

11. Iowa 77, Nebraska 71 (Jan. 3, 2019) — Despite some late turnovers and missed free throws, Iowa was able to hang on and avenge the Carver embarrassment of the previous season. Megan Gustafson registered 28 points and 17 rebounds, and the Hawkeyes squared their Big Ten record at 1-1.

12. Iowa 71, Wisconsin 53 (Jan. 7, 2019) — Iowa won its 20th consecutive game against Wisconsin, breaking open a competitive game with an 11-0 run in the third quarter. Makenzie Meyer, who had made just 8 of 28 shots in her previous five games, was 4 of 7 in this one.

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13. Iowa 75, Michigan 61 (Jan. 17, 2019) — Clinging to a 32-29 lead at halftime, the Hawkeyes broke it open with a 22-9 third-quarter surge. Hannah Stewart was a nice complement to Megan Gustafson inside, scoring 16 points, mostly on feeds from Gustafson (22 points, 16 rebounds, six assists).

14. Iowa 72, Rutgers 66 (Jan. 23, 2019) — The Hawkeyes moved into sole possession of second place in the Big Ten, a game behind the Scarlet Knights, with a crucial win. Megan Gustafson registered 32 points and 12 rebounds, drawing this comment from Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer: “She’s the best I’ve seen. The best center in the country, bar none. We had no answer for her. None.”

15. Iowa 72, Purdue 58 (Jan. 27, 2019) — Megan Gustafson was a lukewarm (for her) 10-of-20 from the field, but “post buddy” Hannah Stewart — a term coined by Makenzie Meyer — picked up the slack with a 21-point gem on 10-of-12 shooting as the Hawkeyes hit the midpoint of the Big Ten season at 7-2.

16. Iowa 86, Michigan State 71 (Feb. 7, 2019) — Quieted somewhat in a loss earlier in the season at East Lansing, Megan Gustafson responded with 41 points and 14 rebounds as the Hawkeyes romped. Makenzie Meyer missed the game with a hyperextended knee, but Iowa cruised anyway. A 10-0 third-quarter run put the Hawkeyes in command, 67-48.

17. Iowa 88, Illinois 66 (Feb. 14, 2019) — With a big game looming against Maryland, the Hawkeyes were focused on the task at hand and whipped the Illini. Megan Gustafson became the Big Ten career leader in double-doubles with 78, reaching that benchmark by halftime in a 27-point, 17-rebound performance.

18. Iowa 86, Maryland 73 (Feb. 17, 2019) — Definitely the most significant regular-season win of the streak. The Hawkeyes joined the eighth-ranked Terrapins in a tie for the Big Ten lead (until a loss at Indiana four days later). Megan Gustafson scored 24 of her game-high 31 points in the second half in front of a crowd of 10,716. Alexis Sevillian hit a clutch 3-pointer to put Iowa up, 75-69, and the Terrapins didn’t get closer than four points again.

19. Iowa 74, Northwestern 50 (March 3, 2019) — Emotions flowed in front of a crowd of 12,051 in the Hawkeyes’ regular-season finale. Seniors Megan Gustafson, Hannah Stewart and Tania Davis combined for 58 of the Hawkeyes’ 74 points. “They’ve left their imprint on the program,” Coach Lisa Bluder said afterward. Iowa earned the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament, which it would win seven days later in Indianapolis.

20. Iowa 66, Mercer 61, NCAA first round (March 22, 2019) — The Hawkeyes nearly became the first 2 seed to lose to a 15 seed in the first round, trailing 59-57 with about four minutes to play. “It feels good to get this win, no matter how ugly it was” said Megan Gustafson, who posted 30 points and 16 rebounds. It was plenty ugly: Iowa committed 24 turnovers, to Mercer’s three. Makenzie Meyer added 16 points to help the Hawkeyes avoid a catastrophic loss.

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21. Iowa 68, Missouri 52, NCAA second round (March 24, 2019) — Iowa held Mizzou All-American Sophie Cunningham to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting, and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the seventh time in school history, the first since 2015. Iowa broke a 39-39 tie with a 19-2 surge. In her final Carver game, Gustafson finished with 24 points and 19 rebounds and became the Big Ten’s all-time leading rebounder. Makenzie Meyer continued her late-season surge with 18 points, and Kathleen Doyle added 15.

22. Iowa 85, Florida Atlantic 53 (Nov. 7, 2019) — It was choppy (the teams combined for 49 turnovers and 53 fouls), but the Hawkeyes opened the 2019-20 season with a victory, allowing Coach Lisa Bluder to improve to 20-0 in season openers. Five Hawkeyes reached double figures (led by Kathleen Doyle’s 15 points), and Iowa was 31 of 40 from the line.

23. Iowa 86, North Alabama 81 (Nov. 14, 2019) — Makenzie Meyer matched a career-high with 21 points, and the Hawkeyes held off a North Alabama squad that was in its second year as a Division-I program. Monika Czinano converted all nine of her attempts from the floor and scored 18.

24. Iowa 77, Princeton 75, OT (Nov. 20, 2019) — The streak very nearly ended here. Three days after suffering a 22-point loss at Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes trailed by 13 points in the first half, then were down six in overtime before Makenzie Meyer’s 3-pointer ignited the OT comeback. Kathleen Doyle registered 21 points, seven rebounds and nine assists.

25. Iowa 74, Clemson 60, Big Ten/ACC Challenge (Dec. 4, 2019) — In Tania Davis’ return as a Clemson graduate manager, Monika Czinano scored 24 points on 11-of-15 shooting, and the Hawkeyes turned the game in their favor with a 24-6 run that put them in front, 35-22. After it was over, Czinano lifted Davis in a bearhug and twirled her around.

26. Iowa 102, North Carolina Central 50 (Dec. 14, 2019) — After routing NCCU by 67 points the previous year, the Hawkeyes settled for a 52-point drubbing this time around, shooting a school-record 69.8 percent from the field, hitting 37 of 53 shots. Iowa dished out 32 assists, nine by Kathleen Doyle.

27. Iowa 79, Drake 67 (Dec. 21, 2019) — Iowa feasted on 22 Drake turnovers, scoring 31 points of those miscues. The Hawkeyes owned the second quarter by a 23-8 margin, then pulled away after the Bulldogs got within 56-53. Iowa closed its non-conference schedule at 9-2.

28. Iowa 108, Illinois 72 (Dec. 31, 2019) — “There is no perfection in basketball, but we really clicked on offense today,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said after the Hawkeyes put up a school-record 108 points. Kathleen Doyle scored a career-high 33 points, and the Hawkeyes shot 65 percent from the field and distributed 34 assists. Zion Sanders’ basket with 42 seconds left was the record-breaker.

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29. Iowa 66, Maryland 61 (Jan. 9, 2020) — Somehow, Iowa won this one despite surrendering 38 offensive rebounds to the Terrapins. Alexis Sevillian hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 3:09 left, and the Hawkeyes beat Brenda Frese’s club for the third straight time. “It felt like football out there,” Sevillian said. Maryland tried 84 shots, but made only 26.

30. Iowa 91, Indiana 85, 2 OT (Jan. 12, 2020) — The Hawkeyes played from behind most of the way, trailing by 14 points in the first half and by six with 3 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Kathleen Doyle (31 points, nine rebounds, 10 assists) got the Hawkeyes to overtime with a driving basket, then Makenzie Meyer’s 3-pointer with 2:50 left in the second overtime put Iowa ahead to stay.

31. Iowa 77, Ohio State 68 (Jan. 23, 2020) — After rallying from double-digit deficits in their previous three games, the Hawkeyes only needed to come back from six points down in the second half of this one. They broke away from a 58-58 deadlock in the final 5:23, with seniors Kathleen Doyle, Makenzie Meyer and Amanda Ollinger sealing in with Iowa’s final 17 points.

32. Iowa 74, Michigan State 57 (Jan. 26, 2020) — With Megan Gustafson back at Carver for a postgame jersey-retirement ceremony, the Hawkeyes were clutch again despite the loss of Monika Czinano with a sprained ankle. McKenna Warnock scored 15 of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter. The game was played in front of a crowd of 13,420, which ranks fourth-largest in program history.

33. Iowa 76, Nebraska 60 (Feb. 6, 2020) — Kathleen Doyle set a school single-game record with 15 assists (her previous career high was 11), and the Hawkeyes pulled away in the second half to remain in a first-place tie in the Big Ten. Four Hawkeyes reached double figures, led by Monika Czinano’s 23 points. Doyle had 15 points to go with her 15 assists, and Amanda Ollinger posted 11 points and 13 rebounds.

34. Iowa 97, Wisconsin 71 (Feb. 16, 2020) — Wisconsin native McKenna Warnock came off the bench to hit 4 of 5 shots from long distance, supplying 20 points as the Hawkeyes downed the Badgers for the 22nd straight time. “It’s significant to have a weapon like that off the bench,” Lisa Bluder said. Kathleen Doyle led all scorers with 22 points, and the Hawkeyes built a 25-10 lead after the first quarter.

35. Iowa 100, Penn State 57 (Feb. 22, 2020) — The Hawkeyes put the hammer to the Big Ten’s last-place team from the start and recorded by far their most lopsided win over the Nittany Lions in their series. Iowa blew it open with a 27-10 second quarter for a 49-26 halftime lead. Monika Czinano made 9 of 13 shots in a 23-point outing, and Kathleen Doyle added 18 points.

36. Iowa 90, Minnesota 82 (Feb. 27, 2020) — One of four players making their Carver swan song, Makenzie Meyer hit a career-high six 3-pointers in a 24-point outing. “It was definitely a game I’ll always remember,” she said. Monika Czinano joined Meyer with 24 points, hitting 12 of 16 shots. Nobody could have imagined, but it would be Iowa’s last win in a 23-7 season. The Hawkeyes lost at Rutgers in their regular-season finale, then were beaten by Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals. The NCAA tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

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