Iowa Women's Basketball

No. 16 Iowa falls to No. 21 Michigan State on historic day for Megan Gustafson

Hawkeyes can't hang onto halftime lead in Big Ten opener

Megan Gustafson is now the career leading scorer in Iowa basketball history.  (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Megan Gustafson is now the career leading scorer in Iowa basketball history. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

It was a record-setting day for senior Megan Gustafson but a tough-start afternoon in Big Ten play for the Iowa women’s basketball team.

Gustafson broke the program record for career points, scoring 30 to pass Ally Disterhoft’s total of 2,102 points set in 2017. Gustafson now has 2,124 career points with more than half of her season left.

But No. 16 Iowa was defeated by No. 21 Michigan State, 84-70, on Sunday at Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.

After leading at half, 43-37, Iowa went 5:57 without a field goal in the third quarter and never recovered.

“In that quarter, we came out with a pretty aggressive mentality,” MSU Coach Suzy Merchant said. “But (Gustafson) is tough, I mean that kid is always ... I mean she does it against double-teams, zones, man, it doesn’t matter. Our thing was we can’t let anyone else get off ... She got 30 there, but we did a good job on everybody else.”

Aside from Gustafson, the only other Hawkeye to score in double figures was Kathleen Doyle with 10 points. Gustafson tallied her 11th double-double of the season with 14 rebounds. She now has 66 double-doubles for her career.

In addition to passing Disterhoft for the women’s record, Gustafson also broke the Iowa record for career points, passing Roy Marble’s total of 2,116 (1986-89).

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The Spartans out-rebounded the Hawkeyes, 48 to 34, and had 12 second-chance points off 14 offensive rebounds, compared to three off five for Iowa.

MSU freshman guard Nia Clouden had a career-high 27 points and senior center Jenna Allen had 20 points and a career-high 17 rebounds. Michigan State (11-1, 1-0) is on an eight-game winning streak and off to its best start since the 2012-13 season.

Iowa (9-3, 0-1) returns to action Thursday against Nebraska in its Big Ten home opener at 7 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Nebraska (6-6, 1-0) plays at Ohio State (4-6, 0-1) at noon Monday (BTN).

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