Iowa Women's Basketball

Iowa makes it 12 straight wins vs. UNI

Megan Gustafson's 28-point, 12-rebound performance carries No. 15 Iowa to 83-57 rout

IOWA CITY — When Tanya Warren looked at her team in the locker room, she saw concession and resignation.

“We decided at halftime that the game was over, and that I didn’t like,” said Warren, head women’s basketball coach at Northern Iowa.

No. 15 Iowa parlayed a 17-2 first-half-ending rush into its 12th consecutive victory over UNI, 83-57, before a crowd of 6,860 Sunday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes (8-2) have won their first two encounters with in-state opponents this season, and will try to complete a season sweep Friday night at No. 25 Drake.

“That would be amazing,” said Iowa’s Megan Gustafson, who accumulated 28 points (on 11-of-14 shooting from the field) and 12 rebounds. “It’s my last chance to compete for a state title, wearing this jersey.”

Gustafson boosted her career scoring total to 2,050 points. She needs 52 more to catch Ally Disterhoft (2013-17) at the top of the school leaderboard.

The Hawkeyes have beaten UNI by a combined 99 points in their last three meetings.

“The first three quarters, we played really well defensively,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said. “We knew they were going to shoot a bunch of 3-pointers, and we needed to run them off the line.”

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UNI (5-4) started the second quarter with a 10-2 run, and Cynthia Wolf’s 3-pointer put the Panthers in front, 22-18, with a 7:20 left in the half.

The rest of the half — and the rest of the game — belonged to the Hawkeyes.

Tania Davis, who suffered a torn ACL against the Panthers last year at Cedar Falls, ignited the run at the end of the half with seven points.

Davis indicated that the game carried no special meaning.

“Not really,” she said. “Before the game, I just prepared like it was any other game. I tried not to think about it and let it get to me. I just tried to play a good, solid game.”

It was 51-35 when Iowa made its second surge, a 16-0 run that morphed the game into a blowout. The margin grew to 75-41 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Kathleen Doyle, who added 13 points and seven assists.

Davis and Hannah Stewart contributed 10 apiece, and Iowa collected 20 assists against a season-low eight turnovers.

UNI was playing its first full game without Megan Maahs, who tore an ACL on Dec. 4.

“She’s our best player, and to lose her ... it’s a big loss,” said UNI’s Karli Rucker. “Nobody’s going to replace her, so everybody’s going to have to do more.”

Warren said, “I really liked our mindset for the first quarter and a half, but we turned it over a couple of times and missed a couple of shots, and that bled into what we did on the defensive end. When you’re playing against a good team, they’re eventually going to make shots.”

Rucker scored 16 points to pace the Panthers. Wolf added 11.

Gustafson upped her season field-goal rate to 75.4 percent (104 of 138). That ranks No. 2 nationally.

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“It usually takes two or three possessions to figure out that a team is doing defensively against me,” Gustafson said. “After a quarter, I usually know exactly what’s going on.”

UNI hosts Minnesota State on Wednesday. 

IOWA 83, NORTHERN IOWA 57

At Iowa City

NORTHERN IOWA (57): Bre Gunnels 3-4 0-0 7, Taylor Hagen 1-5 0-0 2, Karli Rucker 7-14 0-0 16, Ellie Howell 0-8 0-0 0, Mikaela Morgan 1-8 2-2 4, Kam Finley 0-3 0-0 0, Cynthia Wolf 4-6 0-0 11, Abby Gerrits 0-3 0-0 0, Nicole Kroeger 1-2 0-0 2, Heidi Hillyard 3-4 0-0 7, Alyssa Iverson 0-2 0-0 0, Rose Simon-Ressler 2-3 3-4 8. Totals 22-62 5-6 57.

IOWA (83): Hannah Stewart 5-9 0-1 10, Megan Gustafson 11-14 6-7 28, Makenzie Meyer 1-3 0-0 3, Tania Davis 4-7 0-0 10, Kathleen Doyle 4-10 3-3 13, Zion Sanders 0-3 1-2 1, Amanda Ollinger 1-2 0-0 2, Logan Cook 0-1 0-0 0, Monika Czinano 3-6 1-2 7, Alexis Sevillian 2-3 0-0 6, Tomi Taiwo 1-2 1-2 3, Paula Valino Ramos 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-60 12-17 83.

Halftime: Iowa 35, UNI 24. 3-point goals: UNI 8-27 (Gunnels 1-1, Rucker 2-4, Howell 0-4, Morgan 0-5, Finley 0-1, Wolf 3-5, Gerrits 0-2, Hillyard 1-2, Iverson 0-1, Simon-Ressler 1-2), Iowa 7-14 (Meyer 1-3, Davis 2-3, Doyle 2-4, Sanders 0-1, Sevillian 2-2, Taiwo 0-1). Team fouls: UNI 19, Iowa 12. Fouled out: none. Rebounds: UNI 33 (Gunnels, Rucker, Hillyard 4), Iowa 38 (Gustafson 12). Assists: UNI 8 (Rucker 4), Iowa 20 (Doyle 7). Steals: UNI 4 (four with 1), Iowa 5 (Ollinger 2). Turnovers: UNI 13, Iowa 8.

Attendance: 6,860.

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

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