Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa women's basketball earns Sweet 16 berth

Hawkeyes pull away from Mizzou with late rush, 68-52

IOWA CITY — Talk about a Sweet swan song.

Megan Gustafson poured in 24 points and grabbed 19 rebounds, and eighth-ranked Iowa dusted Missouri, 68-52, in an NCAA women’s basketball tournament second-round game in front of 12,376 Sunday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa (28-6) advances to the Sweet 16 for the seventh time, the first since 2015 and just the second since 1996. The Hawkeyes will play Saturday at Greensboro, N.C., at a time to be determined.

The opponent will be the winner of Monday’s second-round game between No. 10 North Carolina State (27-5) and No. 17 Kentucky (25-7).

Iowa is 17-0 at Carver this season. It was the final home appearance for Gustafson, Hannah Stewart and Tania Davis.

Missouri led for most of the first half, but Iowa constructed a 12-0 surge in the second quarter for a 30-25 advantage. Sophie Cunningham was whistled for her second and third fouls in that run.

Iowa led 33-29 at halftime.

Missouri (24-11) tied it at 39-39 on Amber Smith’s basket with 5:55 left in the third quarter, but Iowa responded with a 23-4 run to take control for good.

In the first quarter, Gustafson became the Big Ten’s all-time leading rebounder, surpassing Jantel Lavender of Ohio State. Gustafson has 1,438 career boards.

Makenzie Meyer added 18 points for the Hawkeyes, and Kathleen Doyle scored 13.

Amber Smith led Mizzou with 18 points. Sophie Cunningham was held to eight.

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

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