By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team passed its pre-finals week tune-up, cruising to its 10th win with an 85-45 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday afternoon on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes are 10-1, matching their best start to a season since 2013-14.
Four players reached double digits and Iowa shot 57.1 percent (28-of-49) with eight 3-pointers. Defensively, Iowa limited the Golden Lions to 28.8 percent shooting; Arkansas-Pine Bluff went 1-of-13 from 3-point range and committed 20 turnovers.
All 11 Hawkeyes scored with junior Megan Gustafson leading the way with 19 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes to post her 10th double-double of the season. She made 6-of-7 field goals and went 7-of-9 from the free throw stripe.
“Megan got a double-double playing half the game, that was pretty cool,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder.
Junior Tania Davis scored 16 points, making 6-of-8 field goals with four 3-pointers, and she had five assists. Sophomores Makenzie Meyer and Kathleen Doyle finished with 11 points apiece. Doyle had five assists and three steals.
Iowa limited Arkansas-Pine Bluff to just three field goals on 3-of-16 shooting in the first quarter, as it led 27-8 following the first 10 minutes. The lead was 47-20 at the break and 69-32 through three quarters.
The Hawkeye reserves outscored the Golden Eagles, 16-11, in the fourth quarter when three UAPB players fouled out. Iowa went 21-of-27 from the free throw stripe; the Golden Lions were 10-of-13.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game, when you get a lead that substantial it’s hard to keep going and going,” said Bluder. “We’re happy with the victory; we were happy with the defense except for the second quarter. Our assists were high and we shot the ball well.”
SHARING THE BALL
Iowa assisted on 23 of its 28 field goals. Seven different Hawkeyes had at least one assist and five players had three or more assists.
“This team loves to pass the ball, we celebrate the assist,” said Bluder. “When you have players that give up a good shot for a great shot, that’s team basketball at its finest. We love to play that way.”
At 10-1 will a spot in the top 25 rankings be on the horizon for the Hawkeyes? Does it matter?
“It’s not supposed to but it does,” said Bluder. “It’s a validation of what you believe in your team. Even if we’re not in there, we believe we’re a top 25 team. That’s what matters, the team in the locker room. It’s nice when people recognize what you’re doing and the success you’re having.”
- The Hawkeyes scored 28 points off 20 Arkansas-Pine Bluff turnovers.
- Iowa won the rebounding battle, 35-31, but allowed 18 Golden Eagle offensive rebounds.
- Iowa had a 16-4 advantage in fast-break points and outscored UAPB, 36-16, in the paint.
Iowa returns to action Dec. 17, traveling to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to face Northern Iowa at 2 p.m. (CT) inside the McLeod Center.