Iowa Women's Basketball

Megan Gustafson scores 41 as Iowa women's basketball handles Michigan State

Start-to-finish dominance for No. 16 Iowa in 86-71 win

IOWA CITY — When Michigan State beat Iowa on Dec. 30, Jenna Allen was heralded by ESPN2 announcers as the best post in the Big Ten.

It didn’t sit well with Lisa Bluder.

“Tonight, you saw the best post player in the Big Ten, if not the country,” Bluder said.

Megan Gustafson erupted for 41 points and 14 rebounds, and the 16th-ranked Hawkeyes led from wire to wire in an 86-71 women’s basketball romp over No. 21 Michigan State before a paid attendance of 6,287 — the actual crowd was much smaller — Thursday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Gustafson’s response to the perceived slight in East Lansing? Not much.

“I try to focus more on the team and what the team needs me to do,” she said.

Gustafson hit 17 of 24 field-goal attempts and all seven of her foul shots. She got Michigan State’s 6-foot-4 duo of Allen and Sidney Cooks into foul trouble.

Allen fouled out with two points.

“When you get people in foul trouble, you can kind of smell blood in the water a little bit,” Gustafson said.

The 41-point night marked the third time in Gustafson’s career in which she scored 40-plus. She tallied 48 in a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal loss against Minnesota last season, then scored 44 in a win at Drake on Dec. 21.

The Hawkeyes (18-5 overall, 9-3 Big Ten) won for the seventh time in the last eight games and stayed a game behind Maryland in the Big Ten race. Rutgers is a half-game behind Maryland, a half-game ahead of the Hawkeyes.

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Junior guard Makenzie Meyer missed the game with a hyperextended knee, suffered in the Hawkeyes’ win at Penn State on Sunday. She is listed as day to day.

Alexis Sevillian took Meyer’s spot in the starting lineup, but she picked up her second foul midway through the first quarter, and sat out the rest of the half.

That meant extensive minutes for Tomi Taiwo, who hit a 3-pointer that ignited a 10-2 Iowa run, and the Hawkeyes led 23-15 after one quarter.

There was no big lull for the Hawkeyes, who were never in danger. It was 50-38 at halftime, then a 10-0 third-quarter run extended it to 67-48.

“Our focus was amazing,” Bluder said. “Tonight, we were locked in.”

Kathleen Doyle added 18 points — connecting on 4 of 6 shots from long range — along with seven rebounds and eight assists.

“We felt we let a win (at Michigan State) slip through our fingers,” Doyle said. “Tonight we wanted to come in and get the job done.”

Tania Davis scored 10 points in her final regular-season contest against either of the Michigan schools.

“I’m so glad I came here,” Davis said. “It’s a blessing ... I’ve always tried to attack them.”

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Taiwo, Amanda Ollinger and Monika Czinano contributed off the bench. A Cedar Rapids native, Ollinger posted four points, four rebounds and four assists.

Nia Clouden led Michigan State (16-6, 6-5) with 20 points.

The Hawkeyes are at Ohio State at 3 p.m. (Iowa time) Sunday.

IOWA 86, MICHIGAN STATE 71

At Iowa City

MICHIGAN STATE (71): Sidney Cooks 4-12 0-0 9, Jenna Allen 1-7 0-0 2, Shay Colley 3-12 0-0 7, Taryn McCutcheon 4-12 1-2 11, Nia Clouden 7-11 4-5 20, Victoria Gaines 1-2 0-0 3, Mardrekia Cook 6-9 0-1 12, Kayla Belles 1-3 2-3 4, Claire Hendrickson 1-1 0-0 3, Tory Ozment 0-1 0-0 0, Nia Hollie 0-0 0-2 0. Totals 28-70 7-13 71.

IOWA (86): Hannah Stewart 3-6 0-0 6, Megan Gustafson 17-24 7-7 41, Alexis Sevillian 0-3 0-0 0, Tania Davis 2-6 5-6 10, Kathleen Doyle 5-13 4-5 18, Tomi Taiwo 1-5 0-0 3, Monika Czinano 2-3 0-1 4, Amanda Ollinger 2-3 0-2 4, Zion Sanders 0-0 0-0 0, Logan Cook 0-0 0-0 0, Paula Valino Ramos 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-63 16-21 86.

Halftime: Iowa 50, MSU 38. 3-point goals: MSU 8-23 (Cooks 1-3, Allen 1-7, Colley 1-4, McCutcheon 2-8, Clouden 2-2, Gaines 1-1, Cook 0-1, Hendrickson 1-1, Ozment 0-1), Iowa 6-13 (Sevillian 0-2, Davis 1-3, Doyle 4-6, Taiwo 1-1, Ollinger 0-1). Team fouls: MSU 24, Iowa 17. Fouled out: Allen. Rebounds: MSU 37 (Colley 8), Iowa 44 (Gustafson 14). Assists: MSU 14 (Clouden 5), Iowa 24 (Doyle 8). Steals: MSU 7 (three with 2), Iowa 6 (Stewart, Davis 2). Turnovers: MSU 14, Iowa 13.

Attendance: 6,287.

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

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