By the Numbers: A historic season for Hawkeye women’s basketball

The special Iowa women’s basketball season is now complete, but the records and memories it left behind will be remembered for a long time.


David Harmantas

Iowa guard Tania Davis #11 dribbles into the lane during a women’s basketball game against Iowa State University at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cyclones 73-70.

Peter Mills, Assistant Sports Editor

Undoubtedly, the Hawkeye women wish they were still practicing together.

It was a long season — made even longer by a deep NCAA Tournament run — that invovled both triumph and disappointment. But a number of moments and simple statistics point to the special year the team had.

2.3 — seconds left when Tania Davis took down Iowa State

It seems like several years ago, but on Dec. 5, 2018, Tania Davis took down Iowa State with only 2.3 seconds left on the clock.

With the game tied at 70, the senior knocked down a game-winning triple to beat the Cyclones in Carver-Hawkeye. It was an important game for Iowa, only two games removed from a 34-point loss to Notre Dame on the road.

The game was special for many reasons, as the team took down a rival and got back starting guard Kathleen Doyle who was away with a wrist injury. But Davis was the star of the night.

It was her biggest moment of the season up to that point. Fresh off of a season-long hiatus because of a second ACL tear, it helped catalyze an impressive comeback season for the guard.

“The way she’s come back from two ACLs, I’ve never seen anyone do that,” Hannah Stewart told KCCI’s Nick Tabbert after Monday’s loss to Baylor. “It seems like it’s hard, but there are things that go on behind the scenes. When you see trainers cranking on her leg and tears rolling down her eyes while she’s biting a towel in pain. She has gone through some stuff that people don’t even know. Her fight is just incredible.”

Her grit inspired her teammates, and that moment on Dec. 5 made a massive difference for the trajectory of the team.

17 — wins at home this season

The season ended with a big number in the win column for the women: 29. It is the highest victory total for in the history of the women’s program.

Perhaps more impressively, Iowa remained undefeated on its home court this season for the first time since 2015.

RELATED: Future of Iowa women’s basketball continues to be bright

It’s no wonder — 12,376 fans attended Iowa’s second-round game against Mercer this season. That number led combined two-day attendances at 11 NCAA Tournament sites. This year’s Iowa team may have lost on the road this season, but on its home court, it forever is unbeaten.

“To go undefeated on your home court during this Big Ten season and nonconference season, I think that’s an amazing accomplishment,” head coach Lisa Bluder said after the team’s win over Northwestern on March 3.

1,001 — Megan Gustafson’s season point total

Of all her records, Gustafson’s season point total is perhaps her most impressive.

The senior eclipsed the 1,000-point mark in Monday’s loss to No. 1 Baylor, becoming only the fourth player in history to do so. She needed 22 points heading into the game and got 24.

But she continues to assert that it’s not about the accolades.

When asked why she scored 45 points in the Big Ten championship — a record — Gustafson gave a simple response.

“I wanted to win a Big Ten championship,” she said. “That was it …This was the most important [day of my life]. Every single game is important, but this one meant so much. This is what I wanted coming to Iowa.”

All of the points and records piled up, but the senior had much bigger goals than that.

With the season over, players and coaches will move on to the next chapter. But these accomplishments will always hold true in the Iowa record books.

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