By DARREN MILLER
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A strong second-quarter comeback propelled the University of Iowa women’s basketball team to its sixth consecutive victory, 77-64, over Charlotte on Thursday in the second round of the Puerto Rico Challenge at Cardinal Gibbons High School.
While the Hawkeyes (6-0 overall) keep posting win after win, junior center Megan Gustafson keeps her remarkable statistics streak alive. For the sixth this this season and 33rd time in her career, Gustafson posted a double-double with 23 points and 14 rebounds. She was 11 of 16 from the field and for the season is shooting 69.2 percent.
Charlotte fell to 2-3. The 49ers are coached by former Hawkeye Cara Consuegra.
Iowa sophomore Makenzie Meyer scored 17 points and dished out seven assists, junior Tania Davis added 11 points and five assists. Both Meyer and Davis made three 3-point field goals.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game. That is two games in a row we have come out with a slow start,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Today was not being able to knock down 3s in the first quarter.”
The Hawkeyes missed all six of their 3-point attempts in the first 10 minutes, while Charlotte was 4 of 6 from distance. The winds of change occurred in the second quarter: Iowa was 3 of 3 from beyond the arc and the 49ers were 0 for 3.
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Six Hawkeyes — Chase Coley, Davis, Kathleen Doyle Gustafson, Meyer, and Alexis Sevillian — played at least 26 minutes. Hannah Stewart (15 minutes), Carly Mohns (seven), and Amanda Ollinger (seven) provided quality playing time off the bench.
“When you have a lead and you’re playing three games in four days, if you feel your players can go in and handle it, let’s get those guys in,” Bluder said. “We wanted to give people rest when we could and they did a good job when they went in.”
- Iowa is off to its best start since beginning 7-0 in 2010.
- After trailing by as many as 12, the Hawkeyes outscored Charlotte by 15 in the second quarter to take a lead into halftime.
- Iowa registered 26 assists on 32 field goals. Meyer (seven), Doyle (six), and Davis (five) accounted for 18 of those assists.
The Hawkeyes get to enjoy the 80-degree temperatures in Fort Lauderdale on Friday before returning to the court against Elon on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. (CT). The Phoenix are 4-0 this season and play Alabama on Friday.
“Elon is the most difficult opponent we will have faced since Western Michigan, so we will have our work cut out for us,” Bluder said. “We will get to watch that game (against Alabama), so it will be nice to have a live scout on them.”