IOWA CITY — It was fitting that Big Ten Player of the Year Megan Gustafson dressed as Mary Poppins for Halloween.
Iowa’s senior post may need to feed a “spoonful of sugar” to the three Hawkeye freshmen to make the rotation go the first month of the season. The youngsters were super Tuesday night as No. 17 Iowa rolled to a 102-54 exhibition win over Dakota Wesleyan at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“They are doing super well,” Gustafson said of the freshmen. “I’ve been impressed with them all summer long. I’m not surprised they are doing so well.”
Freshmen guard Tomi Taiwo, forward Monika Czinano and forward Logan Cook were part of an eight-player rotation for the Hawkeyes. They combined for 27 points and 12 rebounds, each playing more than 18 minutes.
“Right now we’re only nine deep, so everyone is going to get a lot of action,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “We have four out with injury.”
In addition to the loss of preseason all-Big Ten guard Kathleen Doyle, who is out a month with a fracture in her left (non-shooting) hand, and freshman Kate Martin, who is out of the season with an ACL, Iowa has had two more players out. Junior forward Amanda Ollinger (back) and sophomore guard Zion Sanders (ankle) have also missed the past week of practice.
But Gustafson was her usual, dominant self in just 27 minutes of action, scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Her partner in the paint, senior power forward Hannah Stewart, added 15 points and 13 rebounds.
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“It was nice to see Megan and Hannah feel so comfortable,” Bluder said. “With Chase (Coley) leaving, it was nice to see those two work so well together.”
With Gustafson and Stewart, the starting five included senior guard Tania Davis, back from offseason ACL surgery, junior guard Makenzie Meyer and sophomore guard Alexis Sevillian.
Meyer had 19 points, including five 3-pointers, and Sevillian added 17 points. Davis didn’t score, but had seven assists in her first game back.
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