By DARREN MILLER
RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team reached 90 points for the second time in seven games and downed James Madison, 90-75, on Friday in the Cancun Challenge in the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Hawkeyes improved to 5-2 overall and split two games in Cancun. James Madison is 3-3.
UI sophomore Megan Gustafson was named to the all-tournament team. She scored a game-high 23 points against James Madison on 11-of-16 shooting from the field. Gustafson also led the Hawkeyes with eight rebounds.
“We had a slow start but it was all attack mode after that,” Gustafson said. “It’s great to get that experience playing tough teams at a tournament like this.”
Iowa trailed 19-8 with 2:40 left in the first quarter. The Hawkeyes grabbed their first lead at 25-23 with 5:44 left in the first half on a layup by sophomore Hannah Stewart.
“Hannah Stewart is doing great things for us off the bench,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said.
Senior Ally Disterhoft added 20 points with six rebounds and four assists. She made 7-of-10 field goals and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Three other Hawkeyes scored in double figures: sophomore Tania Davis (15 points, 3-of-6 3-pointers, 6-of-6 free throws), Stewart (11) and freshman Kathleen Davis (11).
“We shot the ball well and we shot the ball better from 3,” Bluder said. “I like our field goal percentage shooting and I thought we mixed up our defenses well. We battled back well after a slow start.”
Iowa shot 53.3-percenrt from the field, making 32-of-60 field goals. The Hawkeyes limited James Madison to 37.5-percent shooting (27-of-72). Precious Hall led the Dukes with 22 points on 8-of-28 shooting from the field. She was defended by Davis.
“Tania led our team,” Bluder said of Iowa’s point guard. “She shot the 3 well and she was perfect from the line. She has had back-to-back assignments that have been very tough. Her composure was amazing.”
The Hawkeyes are now 8-2 all-time playing in Cancun.
Iowa closes the month of November with a home game in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge against No. 1 Notre Dame on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. (CT).