The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Women’s hoops takes care of Western Michigan

Iowa continues to run through its nonconference slate despite missing one of its starters.
The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep
Iowa guard Alexis Sevillian dribbles during the Iowa/Western Michigan women’s basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

When Kathleen Doyle had to be helped off the floor in the fourth quarter of the Hawkeye women’s basketball team’s second game, some might have worried about how the Hawkeyes would fare without their sophomore starting guard.

After beating up on Northern Illinois and then dismantling Western Michigan, 79-56, on Nov. 19, it’s clear that Iowa is just fine.

A big reason for that has been the play Doyle’s replacement, redshirt freshman Alexis Sevillian. Unlike most backups called upon to replace a touted starter, Sevillian has played a major role in Doyle’s absence.

She made her presence felt early. In the game in which Doyle went down, Sevillian snared a crucial steal at the end of regulation.

Then, in her first start in Doyle’s place, she put up a career high 15 points and grabbed 4 boards.

In the Nov. 19 contest against Western Michigan, the 5-5 guard was at it again, setting a career high in points with 19.

RELATED: Women’s hoops open big week against Western Michigan

“It was good to be able to start,” Sevillian said. “We just hit what we got. Teammates found us for open shots, and we did a great job of knocking them down.”

Iowa may have ended up with 79 points, but it struggled to get the ball in the net early, starting 1-of-7 from the field.

But Sevillian shot the Hawkeyes out of their early slump, nailing three baskets in a row. She ended up accumulating 10 of her points in the first quarter.

If the first quarter belonged to Sevillian, the second belonged to fellow guard Makenzie Meyer, who set career highs in points ( 21) and 3-pointers (5). She scored 16 of her points, and hit four of her 3-pointers, in the second quarter.

“We just played really unselfish basketball today,” Meyer said, echoing Sevillian. “We’re just sharing the ball really well, and when I got the open look, I took the shot.”

Assists has been a major part of the Hawkeyes’ game, and they average 24.2 assists per game. The Western Michigan game was no different.

Iowa racked up 24 of them, with the three starting guards leading the way. Mayer and Tania Davis each had 4, and Sevillian dished out a team-leading and career-high 6.

Along with the solid guard play, the ever-reliable double-double machine Megan Gustafson had yet another solid game.

With her 15 points and 13 rebounds, Gustafson recorded her fourth double-double of the season and 31st of her career.

“[Gustafson] makes my life a lot easier,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “She really is amazing; the way she can rebound is simply amazing. She’s a force in there, and I’m just glad she’s on our team.”

Gustafson will try to continue her double-double streak in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as the Hawkeyes take part in the 2017 Puerto Rico Classic.

At the Puerto Rico Classic — moved to Florida because of hurricane damage — Iowa will take on Morgan State, Charlotte, and Elon.

The first game will be Nov. 22 at 12:30 p.m., the second Nov. 23 at 11 a.m., and the third Nov. 25 at 4 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Jordan Zuniga
Jordan Zuniga, Sports Reporter
Email: [email protected] Twitter: @j_zuni Jordan Zuniga is a sports reporter at The Daily Iowan covering football. This is Zuniga's second year with the DI where he has covered a variety of sports such as: women's basketball, golf, women's soccer, baseball, track and field, softball, and men's basketball.