By DARREN MILLER
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Megan Gustafson’s 12th double-double of the season couldn’t derail Michigan from its 12th consecutive home victory Sunday in front of 3,327 inside the Crisler Center.
Gustafson scored 23 points with 12 rebounds for the University of Iowa women’s basketball team, but the host Wolverines overcame a 15-point second-quarter deficit to prevail, 72-70. The Hawkeyes led for 32 minutes, 7 seconds of the 40-minute game.
It was an outstanding start for Iowa, scoring 20 points in the first quarter and 25 in the second to take a 45-33 lead at halftime. The Hawkeyes tacked on 16 points in the third quarter and led by nine points, 61-52, entering the fourth.
“We played three good quarters of basketball, but in the fourth quarter we struggled scoring against (Michigan’s) zone,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We came in here, battled with them, and beat them for most of the game. We did a lot of great things, but unfortunately, a loss is a loss.”
Michigan outscored the Hawkeyes 20-9 in the fourth quarter and 39-25 in the second half. The Wolverines remain perfect in 12 home games this season.
Iowa heads into Thursday’s home game against Michigan State with a record of 14-9 overall, 5-5 in the Big Ten Conference. Michigan remains in third place in the Big Ten with a record of 19-5, 8-2.
“Hopefully we’ll come back against Michigan State on Thursday and get a split with the Michigan schools,” Bluder said.
Alexa Kastanek gave the Hawkeyes a 70-69 lead with 35.1 seconds remaining. She snared an offensive rebound on a 3-point miss by Ally Disterhoft and converted the put-back. Iowa had its largest lead at 33-18 with 5:53 left in the second quarter after a conventional 3-point play by Gustafson.
Three Hawkeyes scored in double figures. Gustafson started quickly with 17 first-half points and shared game-high scoring honors with Michigan’s Kysre Gondrezick with 23 points. She also had three blocked shots.
Disterhoft scored 14 points with seven rebounds, and four assists. She now has 1,910 points and moved past Lindsey Meder (1,906 points from 1998-2002) into second place on Iowa’s all-time career scoring list.
Point guard Tania Davis added 12 points, six rebounds, and three assists, but she left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury. Kathleen Doyle moved to point guard, but she fouled out with 1:57 remaining.
Iowa’s 13 turnovers were its second-fewest of the conference season (they had 11 against Minnesota on Jan. 21). The Hawkeyes shot 43.5 percent from the field for the game, but just 34.4 percent in the second half.
“We did a lot of good things,” Bluder said. “Offensively, we rebounded and we took care of the ball, but we just couldn’t score enough points in the fourth quarter.”
Iowa finished with 34 rebounds (10 offensive); 21 of those rebounds came in the first half.
The Hawkeyes host Michigan State (16-7, 6-4) on Thursday with a 6 p.m. (CT) tip. The Spartans have won consecutive games at Wisconsin, at Minnesota, and at home against Indiana.