The Daily Iowan

Hawkeyes Run Wild Over ‘Cats

Iowa+guard+Kathleen+Doyle+looks+to+pass+the+ball+during+the+Iowa%2FPenn+State+basketball+game+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+8%2C+2018.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Nittany+Lions%2C+80-76.++%28Lily+Smith%2FThe+Daily+Iowan%29
Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle looks to pass the ball during the Iowa/Penn State basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions, 80-76.  (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle looks to pass the ball during the Iowa/Penn State basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions, 80-76. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle looks to pass the ball during the Iowa/Penn State basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Nittany Lions, 80-76. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

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Just three weeks ago, the Hawkeyes were in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

Since then, they have gone on a 5-1 streak, and after a 70-61 win over Northwestern on Sunday in Evanston, Illinois, Iowa has now won four games in a row, improving to 20-6 on the season. With just three games remaining in the regular season, the surge has come at the perfect time, and the Hawkeyes hope they can finish with seven wins in a row.

Right out of the gate, the Hawkeyes herded the Cats, and they shot themselves into a 21-13 lead after a quarter. Their fast start has been common during the recent run of success, and head coach Lisa Bluder was full of praise.

The beginning of the second quarter opened with a surge from the Wildcats, but that was followed with a Hawkeye run to give the Black and Gold a commanding 37-23 lead at the half.

Iowa never relinquished the lead, and it set itself on cruise control for the rest of the game. After the Feb. 8 game, in which Iowa saw most of its offensive production from the post, Sunday’s game saw more action from the guards.

Makenzie Meyer performed efficiently, with 12 points and 2 assists to go along with a steal, while Kathleen Doyle’s 15 points, 6 assists, and 4 steals rounded out the stat line.

“I thought Kathleen did a good job leading us today,” Bluder said. “I liked her game — her defensive effort was outstanding, especially guarding [Northwestern’s] Lindsey Pulliam, who has been very, very good.”

Doyle’s work on Pulliam certainly aided the Hawkeyes, Northwestern’s leading scorer was held to just 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting.

Another contributor who came off the bench, Hannah Stewart, put up 8 points to go along with solid defense, including 3 steals and a block.

But, as usual, the star of the Hawkeye show was the ever-consistent Megan Gustafson, who put up her usual numbers, 25 points and 16 rebounds. Her 25 points were good enough to move her to eighth on Iowa’s all-time career scoring list — she currently has 1,626.

She is now also fourth on Iowa’s all-time career rebounds list with 901. What is spectacular about that is she is only a junior, which means if the trend continues, she could finish as Iowa’s leader in both categories.

RELATED: Gustafson, Coley Light it Up in Hawkeye Win

Gustafson’s next chance to climb higher on the all-time lists will have to wait a week, but her and the Hawkeyes will need a week’s rest to prepare for the rigorous final week of the regular season.

“This is a perfect time for [our team] to rest,” Bluder said. “Next week, we have a compressed week with three games in seven days. This week, we need to rest, heal, and get everything ready to go into next week.”

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About the Writer
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.

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