Megan Gustafson's Record Day Not Enough for Hawkeyes

Javier Howell
March 4, 2018

"I've put in so much work the past three years at Iowa, but at the end of the day I've had awesome support here".

The Wildcats committed two players to keeping Gustafson off the boards, and Bluder said that is where her teammates needed to become more active.

"She was covered pretty heavily and Minnesota just had a good defensive stop, " said Meyer, the only other Hawkeye to finish in double figures with a 14-point performance.

"I didn't contribute as much as I normally do, so I think that kind of gave me a little bit of extra motivation, " Gustafson said.

A three-pointer by Makenzie Meyer extended the Hawkeye advantage to 68-63 with 9 minutes, 54 seconds remaining but the Golden Gophers turned one of Iowa's 19 turnovers into a three-pointer by Destiny Pitts which moved Minnesota in front 75-74 with 6:46 to go.

The Hawkeyes (14-19) almost pulled off the upset, trailing MI 74-71 with 24 seconds to go, but forward Luke Garza missed a potential game-tying three. Amanda Ollinger ended it with a steal, giving her team the ball with:10 left. Iowa coughed up the ball 19 times, leading to 17 Minnesota points.

The Gophers narrowly escaped with a victory against Iowa that will send them to the Big Ten semifinals.

A 23-6 record, a share of third place in an improved Big Ten and an RPI that stood as the 16th best in the nation have all-but assured Iowa that it will return to the field for the NCAA tourney later this month after a two-year absence.

"We're feeling real good right now".

The most positive thing Iowa has going for it is that four-star recruit Joe Wieskamp will finally make his way to campus next fall. The Gophers then went on a 13-5 spurt to go up 25-17 at the end of the first quarter.

Iowa trailed 42-39 at the half despite a 26-point half from Gustafson - the most of her career.

Carlie Wagner and Bell led the Gophers in scoring, tallying a combined 53 points in the game. Gustafson's last points, a 3-point play, put the fifth-seeded Hawkeyes up 87-85 with 1:23 to play and broke the school record of 46 points set by Chrystal Smith on November 11, 2005. "'Are they accepting coaching?' And I told them after the game, not one time did I ever feel like they weren't doing that". It's really wonderful we were in the game, " Bluder said.

The Hawkeyes will learn their postseason destination and seeding on Selection Monday - March 12.

"We're going in without the pressure of having to win and that's a nice feeling going into this tournament, " Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.

Other reports by Insurance News

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