Hawkeyes run away with win over Wolverines

Iowa’s post play and defense helped it on its way to a 75-61 win over Michigan.

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Lily Smith

Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle attempts a shot during the Iowa/Michigan women’s basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, January 17, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wolverines, 75-61.

Jordan Zuniga, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s basketball team (13-4, 4-2 Big Ten) charmed a vivacious Carver-Hawkeye crowd on its way to a 75-61 victory over the Michigan Wolverines (11-7, 2-4 Big Ten).

Both teams played a style that was often seen in 90s basketball, with the majority of the points coming from the paint, including 48 of the 61 first-half points.

Iowa managed a whopping 52 points – 69.3 percent of their points – from the paint, while Michigan totaled 48.

Despite Iowa’s reliance on scoring in the paint for the majority of the game, the big turning point came from beyond the arc.

In the early part of the third quarter, the Hawkeyes held a 36-31 lead before Makenzie Meyer and Tania Davis made 3s on back-to-back possessions to give the Hawkeyes a 42-31 advantage and the momentum going forward.

Iowa finished the third quarter with a 54-38 lead that transitioned to a stress-free fourth quarter for the 6,287 Hawkeye fans in attendance.

While the 2 3-point field goals spurred the run for Iowa, the biggest difference between the first half and the second for Iowa was rebounding and turnovers.

The first half saw 7 Iowa turnovers go for 10 Michigan points and 11 offensive rebounds go for 7 points against the Hawkeyes. In the second half, they allowed just 1 offensive rebound and turned the ball over only twice.

“With us it’s all about being patient,” Davis said. “Once we figured out what they’re doing and we make some adjustments and we attacked from there.”

Lily Smith
Iowa guard Tania Davis and Michigan during the Iowa/Michigan forward Kayla Robbins fight for possession of the ball women’s basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, January 17, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wolverines, 75-61.

As has been typical over the past two seasons for Iowa, Megan Gustafson led the way in both scoring and rebounding, tallying her 16th double-double of the season with 21 points and 16 boards.

For the second night in a row, passing was also a big part of Gustafson’s game, as she totaled 6 assists Thursday night. She has now recorded 10 assists in her past two games.

“Just being patient,” Gustafson said. “And being able to read [the defense] instead of just throwing up a bad shot.”

Hannah Stewart complimented Gustafson with another solid game down low, racking up 16 points and pulling down 6 rebounds with 3 assists.

Both Stewart and Kathleen Doyle have proven themselves to be quite the pair of thieves over the past six games, as they combined for 6 Thursday night. Since Big Ten play began, Doyle ranks second and Stewart is fourth in steals since then.

Doyle proved to be a notable contributor, posting 10 points with 4 assists and 4 rebounds, Davis tallied 10 points, along with 6 assists, and Alexis Sevillian nabbed 9 points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Now, Iowa will take to the road, as they head to Champaign, Illinois, Jan. 20 for a matchup against Illinois (9-8, 1-5 Big Ten). Tip-off will be at 2 p.m.

“It is not [an automatic win],” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “It’s going to take our full focus. We want to get on a roll here.”

The road is where Iowa has struggled most this season. The Hawkeyes are 9-0 at home, but just 4-4 away from Carver-Hawkeye.

They will look to put together their first three-game winning streak since the start of the Big Ten season in what could prove to be a huge momentum booster heading into their next game against the Big Ten-leading Rutgers (14-3, 6-0 Big Ten).

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