By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The only senior on the University of Iowa women’s basketball team set the bar Sunday during an 85-56 exhibition victory over Minnesota State-Moorhead on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Senior forward Chase Coley scored Iowa’s first four points and six of the team’s first eight 3 ½ minutes into the contest. But it was her work on the glass that stuck out.
“I have been on Chase about her rebounding, so I’m really pleased,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I did mention to her, now that we see what you’re capable of doing, we will expect it every game. She set the bar.”
Coley pulled down 10 rebounds — six offensive — and shared game-high honors with sophomore teammate Amanda Ollinger. The Hawkeyes held a 48-39 edge in rebounds.
“Coach Bluder kind of gets on me in practice about rebounding, so I went out there tonight trying to get in there and get some rebounds,” Coley said. “I focused on that and I will focus on that the rest of the season.”
Junior center Megan Gustafson led a balanced Hawkeye offensive attack with 22 points. She made 10-of-14 from the field. Tania Davis scored 12 points, Kathleen Doyle had 10, and Coley, Makenzie Meyer, Alexis Sevellian, and Hannah Stewart scored eight.
Iowa converted half of its field goal attempts (36-of-72).
QUOTING IOWA HEAD COACH LISA BLUDER
“We started the game and ended the game with great energy. I thought we were focused and played high-level basketball. The third quarter we let up quite a bit; defensively we let up, rebounding-wise we let up. That is unfortunate. We have to figure that out; it was against our zone defense that they got confidence against our zone. That is something we can go back and fix.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Gustafson was efficient from the field, making more than 70 percent of her 14 field goal attempts. But an even more impressive statistic is the 20 rebounds corralled by Coley and Ollinger. Coley had six offensive rebounds and Ollinger added three.
BACK FROM THE DISBALED LIST
The return of Davis and Carly Mohns from injuries that sidelined them in 2016-17 was another highlight. Davis scored 12 points with two assists in 28 minutes and Mohns had four rebounds, two points, and two assists in 13 minutes.
The Hawkeyes open the season Friday against Quinnipiac in the opening round of the Hawkeye Challenge inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. (CT).