Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa women's basketball tops Minnesota on Senior Night, 90-82

Makenzie Meyer keeps her emotions in check, hits a career-high six 3-pointers

IOWA CITY — Makenzie Meyer doesn’t consider herself an overly emotional person.

But when she got to the locker room before the game, she saw the memory books her teammates had assembled for her, as well as the other seniors.

“I got a little choked up,” she said.

Nostalgia would have to wait. There was still a game to play.

And Meyer played it extremely well, hitting a career-high six 3-pointers in a 24-point gem as 18th-ranked Iowa sidestepped Minnesota, 90-82, in a Big Ten women’s basketball game before a crowd of 8,297 Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Storybook?

“Well, it was definitely a game I’ll always remember,” Meyer said.

The Hawkeyes (23-5 overall, 14-3 Big Ten) won their 36th straight game at Carver. And they kept a sliver of hope — maybe 1 in 1,000 — for a Big Ten championship.

Iowa closes its regular-season slate Sunday at Rutgers. A win, plus an Illinois upset at Northwestern on Saturday and a Minnesota victory over Maryland on Sunday, would give the Hawkeyes the No. 1 seed for the Big Ten tournament.

Unlikely, yes. But not mathematically impossible yet.

Meyer, Kathleen Doyle and Amanda Ollinger comprise the winningest senior class in Coach Lisa Bluder’s 20 years at Iowa. Thursday marked their 96th win in 131 games.

“We’ve got 96,” Doyle said. “We want 100.”

Doyle said it was “weird balancing Senior Night, knowing it might be the last game on this floor, and doing what we needed to do.”

The Hawkeyes led most of the way, but Minnesota (15-13, 5-12) kept them from being comfortable until the final half-minute.

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“That’s the Big Ten for you,” Doyle said. “Everybody’s going to scratch and claw.”

Doyle’s 3-pointer gave Iowa its largest lead, 72-57, with 2:05 left in the third quarter. But Jasmine’s Brunson’s trey made it a one-possession game at 80-77 with 3:19 left.

Then Monika Czinano scored on a feed from Meyer, Alexis Sevillian drove to make it 84-77, and the Hawkeyes finally could exhale a bit.

With Iowa leading 90-82 and 25 seconds left, Minnesota Coach Lindsay Whalen elected not to foul, and the Hawkeyes ran out the clock.

“I thought they were going to keep fouling,” Bluder said. “I probably should have called timeout and gotten Paula (Valino Ramos) in, and gotten the seniors out.”

Valino Ramos was honored along with the seniors postgame. The reserve post from Spain will graduate in three years.

Czinano joined Meyer for game-high honors with 24 points, converting 12 of 16 shots.

“When one of us has a good game, more than one of us goes into it,” she said.

Doyle added 16 points, hitting 9 of 12 free throws (she drew 14 fouls from the Gophers throughout the game). McKenna Warnock and Alexis Sevillian scored 11 apiece.

Minnesota also had five players in double figures, led by Gadiva Hubbard’s 20 points.

Iowa concluded the first quarter with a 10-0 run for a 25-15 lead and extended it to 40-28 on Czinano’s bucket with 3:55 left in the half.

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But Hubbard scored 10 points in the final stretch, and the Gophers were within 46-43 at intermission, then took a brief 47-46 lead on Jasmine Powell’s drive with 8:40 left in the third quarter.

IOWA 90, MINNESOTA 82

At Iowa City

MINNESOTA (82): Taiye Bello 7-11 2-2 16, Jasmine Powell 5-15 5-7 15, Sara Scalila 4-13 0-0 12, Jasmine Brunson 4-10 5-5 14, Gadiva Hubbard 5-11 7-7 20, Masha Adashchyk 1-2 0-0 3, Klarke Sconiers 1-1 0-0 2, Barbora Tomancova 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-63 19-21 82.

IOWA (90): Amanda Ollinger 1-4 2-4 4, Monika Czinano 12-16 0-0 24, Makenzie Meyer 9-12 0-0 24, Alexis Sevillian 4-8 2-2 11, Kathleen Doyle 3-11 9-12 16, McKenna Warnock 5-5 1-2 11, Gabbie Marshall 0-0 0-0 0, Zion Sanders 0-0 0-0 0, Tomi Taiwo 0-1 0-0 0, Kate Martin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-57 14-20 90.

Halftime: Iowa 46, Minnesota 43. 3-point goals: Minnesota 9-21 (Powell 0-2, Scalia 4-10, Brunson 1-4, Hubbard 3-4, Adashchyk 1-1), Iowa 8-18 (Meyer 6-9, Sevillian 1-4, Doyle 1-4, Taiwo 0-1). Team fouls: Minnesota 22, Iowa 15. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Minnesota 29 (Bello 7), Iowa 33 (Ollinger, Czinano, Warnock 6). Assists: Minnesota 15 (Powell 9), Iowa 24 (Meyer 6). Steals: Minnesota 7 (Hubbard 3), Iowa 5 (Meyer 2). Turnovers: Minnesota 12, Iowa 13.

Attendance: 8,297.

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

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