Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By JIL PRICE
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Student-athletes, staff, and supporters gathered to celebrate the 2015-16 season’s accomplishments at the annual University of Iowa women’s basketball team banquet at the Celebration Farm on April 8.
Nine team awards were presented at the event, including Free Throw Percentage Leader, Field Goal Percentage Leader, Best Rebounder, Assists Leader, Most Improved, Best Defense, Coaches Award, Community Service Award, and Dr. Christine Grant Leadership Award.
Big Ten All-Freshman team selection Megan Gustafson earned Best Rebounder and Field Goal Percentage Leader recognition. The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native compiled 225 boards — the fourth-highest total recorded by a freshman in program history. Gustafson tallied nine double-doubles in the final 13 games of the season, averaging just shy of a double-double (13.6 points, 9.6 rebounds) in her 14 starts.
Tania Davis, also a Big Ten All-Freshman team pick, took home awards for Best Defense and Assists Leader. The Grand Blanc, Michigan, native tallied 37 steals, the third-highest total of all freshmen in program history. Davis paced the Hawkeyes with 111 assists in her 33 games played. She is only the second player in the history of the program to dish out more than 100 assists in her freshman campaign (Samantha Logic – 136).
Sophomore Chase Coley was credited with the Most Improved honor. The Minneapolis native had her best season as a Hawkeye, compiling 365 points, 194 rebounds, 53 assists, 37 blocks, and 24 steals. She recorded six double-doubles, four of which came in Big Ten play, and led the team in scoring seven times, rebounding eight times, and blocks 10 times. Coley was named to the Big Ten Player of the Week Honor Roll for the first time in her career on Feb. 1 and scored in double figures in 19 of 33 games, netting at least 20 points five times.
Junior Hailey Schneden received the Coaches Award. The two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree is a positive presence on and off the court for the Hawkeyes. The Davenport, Iowa, native also shared the Community Service Award with junior Alexa Kastanek and senior Nicole Smith. The trio logged countless hours in the local community giving back this year.
Senior Kali Peschel was the Free Throw Percentage leader, making 83.7 percent of her shots from the charity stripe. The Sauk Centre, Minnesota, native made 36 of her 43 attempts.
Junior Ally Disterhoft took home the Dr. Christine Grant Leadership Award. The team captain was a consistent leader throughout the year; she scored in double figures in every game and averaged a team-high 17.1 points per game. Disterhoft scored at least 20 points 10 times and became the program’s highest scoring junior with 565 points, surpassing Michelle Edwards’ mark of 564 in 1986-87.
Disterhoft became the 34th player in program history to join the 1,000 career points club, and is currently 11th on Iowa’s career scoring list with 1,542 points, tied for 12th on Iowa’s career 3-point field goals made with 116, 14th on Iowa’s career blocks list with 53, and 18th on Iowa’s career rebounding list with 609 rebounds.
The Iowa City, Iowa, native also earned second-team All-Big Ten recognition for a second straight season, was named to the Big Ten Player of the Week Honor Roll twice, and was selected as the Hawkeye Challenge MVP.
Disterhoft has also garnered received accolades off the court, earning Academic All-America of the Year and first-team Academic All-America honors. Her 4.03 cumulative GPA is the highest of all Academic All-Americans this year and she is the lone junior to appear on the first team. Disterhoft is a 2016 Allstate Good Works Team nominee for her efforts raising helmet awareness on mopeds in the local community, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, and Iowa’s November Female Student-Athlete of the Month.
The Hawkeyes finished the season with a 19-14 record overall and an 8-10 mark in Big Ten play to finish ninth in the regular season standings. Iowa made its ninth straight postseason appearance, earning an invitation to compete in the WNIT (8 NCAA Tournaments, 1 WNIT).
The senior class of Peschel, Smith, and Claire Till won 95 games in their Hawkeye careers, 55 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena and 41 in Big Ten action. The trio won at least the first game of the Big Ten Tournament each year and guided the Hawkeyes to 15 ranked wins in four seasons.