INDIANAPOLIS — Until the last five minutes, let’s just say Kathleen Doyle had seen better games.
“Cold ... that’s how I would summarize it,” she said.
Clutch time came, and Doyle was front and center.
A charge drawn. A basket. A block. A 3-pointer. Another block.
Suddenly, the Iowa Hawkeyes were out of the woods. And into the semifinals.
Doyle made the big plays late, and 10th-ranked Iowa survived a scare, subduing Indiana, 70-61, in a Big Ten women’s basketball tournament quarterfinal Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“I always think the first one is the hardest,” Hawkeyes Coach Lisa Bluder said. “They beat us in the regular season, and we wanted this one back.”
The Hawkeyes (24-6) avenged a damaging late-season defeat, one that ultimately foiled their regular-season title hopes. And they advance to Saturday’s semifinal against Rutgers (21-8) at 6:30 p.m. (Iowa time) Saturday.
Megan Gustafson registered 30 points and 17 rebounds. It was her 11th 30-point game this season, most in NCAA Division-I. The double-double was her 28th this season, the 83rd of her career.
Makenzie Meyer added 12 points — all from long range — and Hannah Stewart was one point short of her own double-double.
But the savior at the end was Doyle.
“She came on strong when we really needed her,” Meyer said. “She was frustrated, but we kept telling her how great she is.”
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Indiana (20-12) rallied from a 10-point third-quarter deficit to take a 54-53 lead when Ali Patberg made two free throws with 5:20 to go.
“There wasn’t any panic at all,” Bluder said. “We just said, ‘It’s our time.’ The team stayed level-headed. They believed in themselves, and they also knew they’ve got Megan.”
Tania Davis nailed a 3-pointer to put the Hawkeyes in front for good, 56-54. Then Doyle drew a charge on the other end.
Doyle came off a pick by Gustafson and scored from the left wing — her first points of the game — for a 58-54 lead. Then she blocked a shot.
Gustafson made two free throws for a 60-54 margin. Jaelynn Penn answered with a bucket, then Doyle drained a 3-pointer to make it 63-56.
Penn’s trey cut it to four and Indiana got a stop, but Doyle thwarted the Hoosiers’ last hope with a block. Davis and Gustafson closed it out with 7 of 8 free throws in the final 41 seconds.
Doyle was 0 for 7 from the field before her late surge.
“It happens,” she said. “I was trying my best to help with my defense. We came out of here with the only thing that matters, a win. I have a bunch of awesome teammates that can pick me up. You’ve just got to stay the course.”
Iowa led throughout the first half, by as many as nine points. Meyer’s 3-pointer early in the third quarter gave the Hawkeyes their largest margin, 40-30, before Patberg brought Indiana back. She led the Hoosiers with 25 points.
Indiana was playing its second game in two days; the Hawkeyes had been off since Sunday.
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“I loved our effort against the No. 10 team in the country,” Indiana Coach Teri Moren said. “This was no time to be tired. What played a factor is that we didn’t hit enough shots.”
IOWA 70, INDIANA 61
Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal, at Indianapolis
INDIANA (61): Kym Royster 0-2 0-0 0, Brenna Wise 3-10 2-2 9, Bendu Yeaney 1-5 0-0 2, Jaelynn Penn 2-11 0-0 5, Ali Patberg 8-16 6-6 25, Linsey Marchese 1-2 0-0 2, Grace Berger 6-13 1-3 13, Aleksa Gulbe 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 23-63 9-11 61.
IOWA (70): Hannah Stewart 4-6 1-2 9, Megan Gustafson 11-19 8-9 30, Makenzie Meyer 4-11 0-0 12, Tania Davis 2-5 2-2 8, Kathleen Doyle 2-9 0-0 5, Alexis Sevillian 1-3 0-0 2, Amanda Ollinger 0-2 0-0 0, Monika Czinano 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 26-57 11-13 70.
Halftime: Iowa 33, Indiana 27. 3-point goals: Indiana 6-18 (Wise 1-5, Yeaney 0-1, Penn 1-6, Patberg 3-4, Berger 0-1, Gulbe 1-1), Iowa 7-16 (Meyer 4-9, Davis 2-3, Doyle 1-3, Sevillian 0-1). Team fouls: Indiana 16, Iowa 10. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: Indiana 32 (Wise 10), Iowa 39 (Gustafson 17). Assists: Indiana 11 (Yeaney 4), Iowa 21 (Doyle 6). Steals: Indiana 9 (Wise 4), Iowa 2 (Stewart, Sevillian). Turnovers: Indiana 7, Iowa 13.
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