Iowa Women's Basketball

Megan Gustafson tops 2,000 career points as No. 16 Iowa fends off IUPUI

Gustafson scores half of her game-high 32 points in decisive fourth quarter

IOWA CITY — A bit of a Cy-Hawk hangover?

Maybe.

A dangerous opponent with an unassuming name?

Oh, most definitely.

Whatever it was that ailed the Iowa women’s basketball team through most of the first three quarters of its game on Saturday against visiting IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis), a proven remedy was unleashed for the final frame.

Stout defense and a heavy, heavy dose of its All-American.

Reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Megan Gustafson scored half of her game-high 32 points in the fourth quarter as the 16th-ranked Hawkeyes held off IUPUI, 72-58, in front of 3,571 fans at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“I think it was just a little bit more fatigue in the first half, more than anything,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “When you come home after a game like that Iowa State game (a 73-70 Iowa win on Wednesday), it’s hard to sleep. … Again, this is a good team that we played against today. They’re well-coached, they’re fundamental, they work hard. I talked to our team. We have got a target on our back. Every time. When you are a ranked, top-25 team, you have a target on your back and you’ve got to be able to stand up and represent that and defend it.”

IUPUI (6-3) — which has an RPI of 29 and owns victories over Mississippi and Virginia Commonwealth — matched the Hawkeyes basket for basket through much of the first three quarters and led by as many as five points on two occasions before the Hawkeyes pushed back late in the third quarter.

With IUPUI leading 46-42, Iowa closed the third frame with six points in a row, capped by a Gustafson basket. After IUPUI tied the game at 48-48 with the first points of the fourth quarter, the Hawkeyes closed the contest with a 22-10 surge, 16 of which were scored by Gustafson.

“It’s kind of like a two-way street with our guards,” said Gustafson, who also grabbed 10 rebounds. “If I’m not hitting, like that first half, I wasn’t hitting. I was able to kick it outside when they were double, triple-teaming me. In the second half, our guards weren’t hitting so they were really relying on me on the inside. So there is a lot of trust and confidence that goes into that. Going into that fourth quarter, I knew that we needed to pull away. I just took it upon myself to get myself in the best position to be able to score.”

Gustafson — who broke the school record for career rebounds in the Iowa State game — surpassed 2,000 career points on Saturday. She is one of just seven players in Big Ten history to amass over 2,000 points with over 1,000 rebounds and is now just 80 points away from tying former teammate Ally Disterhoft for the school record in career points (2,102).

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“I have to credit my teammates,” Gustafson said. “I couldn’t do any of this without them.”

Iowa senior forward Hannah Stewart chipped in 10 points, while former Linn-Mar prep Amanda Ollinger added six rebounds off the bench. Senior guard Tania Davis posted a team-high six assists, while she and junior Kathleen Doyle both had four steals.

Iowa (7-2) hosts Northern Iowa on Dec. 16. 

AT CARVER-HAWKEYE ARENA

No. 16 Iowa 72, IUPUI 58

IUPUI (58): Tamya Sims 0-2 0-0 0, Macee Williams 7-15 5-5 19, Holly Hoopingarner 8-15 2-2 20, Sydney Roule 0-3 0-0 0, Sydney Hall 0-5 0-0 0, Allex Brown 3-4 0-0 8, Morgan Allen 3-5 0-0 6, Katelyn O’Reilly 1-5 0-0 2, Agatha Beier 1-3 0-0 3, Totals 23-57 7-7 58.

IOWA (72): Hannah Stewart 4-7 2-2 10, Megan Gustafson 12-17 8-10 32, Makenzie Meyer 1-5 2-2 5, Alexis Sevillian 1-5 1-1 3, Tania Davis 2-10 4-4 8, Zion Sanders 1-2 0-0 2, Amanda Ollinger 2-5 1-1 5, Kathleen Doyle 3-7 1-2 7, Tomi Taiwo 0-0 0-0 0, Logan Cook 0-0 0-0 0, Monika Czinano 0-1 0-0 0, Paula Valino Ramos 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 26-59 19-22 72.

End first quarter — Iowa, 19-16. Halftime — IUPUI, 33-31. End third quarter — Iowa, 48-46. Three-point goals — IUPUI 5-16 (Brown 2-2, Hoopingarner 2-4, Beier 1-3, Hall 0-1, Roule 0-3, Williams 0-3), Iowa 1-14 (Meyer 1-4, Ollinger 0-1, Doyle 0-2, Davis 0-3, Sevillian 0-4). Rebounds — IUPUI 33 (Williams 8), Iowa 35 (Gustafson 10). Assists — IUPUI 13 (O’Reilly 4), Iowa 17 (Davis 6). Turnovers — IUPUI 21, Iowa 14. Total fouls — IUPUI 25, Iowa 16. Fouled out — Hall, O’Reilly, Williams. A — 3,571.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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