Hawkeye women win Big Ten Championship

No. 10 Iowa women’s basketball wins the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2001.

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Katina Zentz

Iowa players and fans cheer during the women’s Big Ten tournament basketball game vs. Rutgers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, March 9, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Scarlet Knights 72-67 and will be moving on to the championship game against Maryland.

Jordan Zuniga, Sports Reporter

INDIANAPOLIS—For the first time in 18 years, the Iowa women’s basketball team has won the Big Ten Tournament, beating No. 8 Maryland, 90-76.

While both teams kept five players on the floor for the whole game, it often seemed as if it were a game between Megan Gustafson and Maryland’s Kaila Charles–the two combined for 79 points.

Maryland started the game on a 5-0 run, but Iowa soon followed up with a 15-0 run of their own to work its way to a 25-15 first quarter lead.

The Terrapins settled down in the second quarter as they began to work their way back into the game led by Charles, who dropped 14 in the quarter.

Iowa kept pace with a steady stream of Gustafson layups and took a 51-45 lead going into the half.

Coming out of the break, Maryland was the aggressor and quickly tied the game, but it didn’t stay that way for long.

Gustafson continued to be Gustafson, helping Iowa retake the lead and control of the game with a 69-60 advantage heading into the final quarter.

A Tania Davis three to open the fourth quarter spurred Iowa through the rest of the quarter, as the team coasted the rest of the way, clinching the third Big Ten Tournament Championship in program history.

Gustafson obviously played the biggest role in Iowa’s win, however a few other Hawkeyes had notable contributions.

Kathleen Doyle had her first double-digit scoring night of the tourney, racking up 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and an impressive 4 steals

Hannah Stewart complemented Gustafson down low, stuffing the stat sheet for 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Davis and Makenzie Meyer, Iowa’s other two starters, also had superb nights, combining for 21 points and 9 assists while Davis totaled 3 steals.

It was a team win for Iowa, who celebrated with all the merriment to be expected from a team featuring a group of seniors who have never sniffed so much as a semi-final before this weekend.

Iowa’s win also guarantees them a spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, and the win will likely secure a No. 2 seed meaning Iowa will host the first two rounds of the Tournament.

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