Michigan snaps Iowa women’s winning streak

Iowa’s road woes returned as Michigan ended Iowa’s winning streak with a victory in Ann Arbor.


Lily Smith

Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle attempts to strip the ball from Michigan forward Naz Hillmon 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

Iowa rolled into this weekend on a five-game winning streak that included victories over two of the top teams in the Big Ten.

However, that winning streak won’t leave Michigan, as the Hawkeyes fell to the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, 90-81. 

It started out slow for the Hawkeyes, as a 21-10 Michigan run at the end of the first quarter put them down quickly.

Iowa clawed its way back into the lead with a 13-0 run of its own in the start of the second quarter to make it 30-29, and only trailed by 3 points going into the half.

The second half started as a back-and-forth affair, however. With about five minutes to go in the third, the temperature started to drop for Iowa.

Michigan went on a 15-4 run to take a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter, one the Hawkeyes would never recover from.

Both Kathleen Doyle and Megan Gustafson had solid performances, as Doyle dropped 22 points with 2 assists and 6 steals, while Gustafson put up 27 points with 9 rebounds and 4 blocks. It was just the second game this season that Gustafson failed to record a double-double.

Poor stretches of play were definitely a hindrance for Iowa, but its kryptonite was foul trouble.

The Wolverines made their way to the free throw stripe 23 times — the most free throw attempts allowed by Iowa this season — where they hit 16 of those, but Iowa’s foul troubles didn’t end there.

Both Hannah Stewart and Doyle fouled out of the game with just under four minutes to play, and neither played the amount of minutes they are used to, forcing head coach Lisa Bluder to go to her bench.

Four bench players combined for 36 minutes of action and went 4-of-8 from the field, managing only 9 points.

Defense was a struggle as well for the Hawkeyes. Michigan put up the second-most points against Iowa this season.

While Iowa ended up with a better shooting percentage than Michigan (54.4 percent compared to 47.9), the Wolverines got off 14 more shots, in large part, a consequence of the 24 offensive rebounds allowed by Iowa.

Perhaps some of the reason Iowa struggled more than usual on the glass is the limited role Stewart played due to foul trouble.

Entering Friday’s contest, Stewart was averaging 31 minutes per game in the Big Ten with 12.9 points and 6 rebounds. She managed just 2 points with 3 rebounds in 24 minutes against the Wolverines.

The Hawkeyes will have to fix their problems on the fly as they will head to College Station to take on Penn State Feb. 3 at 1 p.m.