Hawkeye women get revenge on Spartans in Carver

No. 16 Iowa avenged its early season loss with a dominating home win over No. 23 Michigan State.


David Harmantas

Iowa forward Megan Gustafson (10) celebrates with her teammates after a basketball game against Michigan State on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans 86-71. Gustafson led all scorers with 41 points. (David Harmantas/The Daily Iowan)

Jordan Zuniga, Sports Reporter

Thursday’s cold weather froze schools, roads and everything else. Everything except the Iowa Hawkeyes, that is.

Anything the Hawkeyes chucked up seemed to have a chance to go in, as they shot the ball at a highly efficient 50.8 percent on their way to an 86-71 victory over Michigan State in Carver-Hawkeye on Thursday.

It was the type of offensive performance that was missing in the second half of their last meeting with the Spartans, where they shot 28.6 percent in the second half.

“That’s obviously in the back of our minds,” guard Kathleen Doyle said. “We really feel like we let that game slip through our fingers. We just really wanted to come into this game locked in and get the job done.”

For the 69th time in her career as a Hawkeye, Megan Gustafson led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 41 points on 17-of-24 shooting and swatted away 4 shots on defense.

She also grabbed 14 rebounds to complete the 76th double-double of her career, but that’s just the type of performance Hawkeye fans have grown accustomed to.

David Harmantas
Iowa forward Megan Gustafson (10) smiles as she walks off the court after a basketball game against Michigan State on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans 86-71.

“When the people I’m playing get into foul trouble, they start to hesitate,” Gustafson said. “And when that happens, I start to smell blood in the water.”

While Gustafson did what she’s always done, it was Kathleen Doyle who was uniquely special in this one. She put up 18 points to go along with 7 rebounds, and 8 assists.

In the fourth quarter, Doyle hit 2 3s to help put the Spartans in the hole.

Tania Davis also filled up her stat sheet, dropping 10 points, pulling down 5 rebounds, dishing out 5 assists, and swiping 2 passes.

Iowa was able to get good offensive production despite missing one of their best 3-point shooters, Makenzie Meyer, who was out with a hyperextended knee.

As a result, Tomi Taiwo played a season-high with 17 minutes and scored 3 points with 2 rebounds and 2 assists. She may not have played a prominent role, but it’s experience that could prove helpful later in the season.

Taiwo and the rest of the Iowa bench helped soften the blow of losing Meyer.

“I was really happy for Tomi,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I thought she played well. I also thought Amanda [Ollinger] did a really nice job as well; she had 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.”

With Doyle flinging up three’s and Gustafson making one impossible shot after another, it can be hard to notice how solid the defense was.

Iowa held Michigan State, the No. 2 scoring offense in the Big Ten, to just 71 points and 27 percent from 3-point range in the first half.

Its stellar defensive play was focused on one place in particular: Jenna Allen. Allen torched the Hawkeyes in the last matchup between the two teams, racking up 20 points and 17 rebounds.

This time around, Iowa was able to contain her to just 2 points and 3 rebounds.

Now, Iowa will look ahead to the final six games of the regular season, with the next one coming at Ohio State on Feb. 10 at 3 p.m.