Former Hawkeyes Gustafson, Doyle set to face off in WNBA matchup

Megan Gustafson and the Dallas Wings take on Kathleen Doyle and the Indiana Fever Friday night in Bradenton, Florida.


Katina Zentz

Iowa center Megan Gustafson and guard Kathleen Doyle hug after the win against NC State in the NCAA Sweet 16 game at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex on Saturday, March 30, 2019. The Hawkeyes defeated the Wolfpack 79-61.

Robert Read, Sports Editor

Megan Gustafson and Kathleen Doyle shared the court for three years as teammates on the Iowa women’s basketball team. The two Big Ten Player of the Year winners are about to take the court together again. This time, on opposing teams.

Gustafson and the Dallas Wings take on Doyle and the Indiana Fever in a Friday night WNBA matchup.

The game will take place at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, the site for every game of the WNBA’s shortened 2020 season.

“It will be weird playing against Megan,” Doyle said on a video conference July 18. “But it will be fun. I’m excited to see her and glad that we can both represent Iowa hopefully well in this league. I hope Megan has a good game, but I hope the Fever win.”

Doyle was a second-round pick by the Fever in April’s WNBA Draft. The Wings drafted Gustafson in the second round of the 2019 draft, but she was released by the team before the start of the regular season.

The Wings later re-signed Gustafson for the rest of the 2019 season and the Port Wing, Wisconsin, native made the team’s roster again this year.

Friday’s game marks the third game of the regular season for both teams. The WNBA season was originally set to start in May, but was pushed back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both teams are currently 1-1.

The last time these two players were on the court at the same time was in the Elite Eight of the 2018-19 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Iowa lost that game 85-53 to Baylor, ending the team’s run at a national championship.

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The 2018-19 Hawkeye team won 30 games, including all 18 of its home contests, and defeated Maryland in the Big Ten title game.

Gustafson re-wrote the Iowa and Big Ten record books in her time as a Hawkeye from 2015-19. She owns 16 school records, along with five single-season and three career conference records. As a senior, she also tied the NCAA records for most double-doubles in one season (33).

Unstoppable near the basket at Iowa, Gustafson recorded 1,001 points on 69.6 percent shooting from the field as a senior. She also hauled in 481 rebounds.

A two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, consensus National Player of the Year as a senior, Iowa’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, a retired jersey, and seemingly countless other honors — Gustafson cemented herself as one of the greatest Hawkeyes ever.

Doyle collected plenty of accolades as well.

As a senior the LaGrange Park, Illinois, native was a first-team All-Big Ten selection for the second time in her career and the Big Ten Player of the Year. Doyle was also named a third-team All-American.

Gustafson has appeared in one game so far this season and scored one point. Doyle has yet to appear in a game for the Fever and is currently battling an ankle injury. Her status for Friday night is questionable.

Friday’s game is scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network. The two teams are scheduled to face off again August 29.

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