COLUMBUS, Ohio — No. 16 Iowa moved into sole possession of second place in the Big Ten women’s basketball standings, one game behind Maryland, after beating Ohio State 78-52 at the Schottenstein Center.
Megan Gustafson finished with 29 points and 16 rebounds for the 77th double-double of her career, tying the Big Ten record.
Iowa (19-5, 10-3) led for virtually the entire game, bursting out to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter. Ohio State (10-12, 6-7) led briefly, 27-26, with 2:52 before halftime, but a Gustafson bucket and a three-point play by Kathleen Doyle gave the Hawkeyes a 31-27 halftime lead.
Then Iowa outscored OSU 27-10 in the third quarter. That included a 20-6 advantage in points in the paint.
“The second quarter we got a little stagnant in our offense,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “We got out of that a little bit at halftime and really talked about trying to penetrate a little more or get the ball inside.”
Bluder said most of the halftime adjustments occurred before the coaches spoke.
“You love to see your team regroup at halftime,” Bluder said. “A lot of that work is done before we even walk into the locker room. ... I think we have some really good leaders and some really good basketball minds on the team, like Kathleen and Tania (Davis), they do such a great job.”
It was the second straight game Iowa played without starting guard Makenzie Meyer. Doyle finished with 16 points and six assists.
Dorka Juhasz led Ohio State with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
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It was Iowa’s third straight win, and eighth in the last nine games. The Hawkeyes have a pair of home games this week, hosting Illinois (10-14, 2-11) on Thursday and No. 8 Maryland (22-2, 11-2) on Sunday.
“Maryland has a one-game lead on us in the Big Ten and this is our only meeting,” Bluder said. “We’re not overlooking Illinois, by any means. But we do have to know this is an important week for us.”