By DARREN MILLER
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Senior Chase Coley hit the go-ahead jump shot with 6.4 seconds left in overtime and junior Megan Gustafson sealed it with a steal and two free throws as the University of Iowa women’s basketball team defeated Michigan State, 71-68, on Thursday in the Breslin Center.
“Chase loves that short corner shot and she is very good at it,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I’m happy for Chase; she gets 10 rebounds and has four assists, but she is 2-for-3 from the field and boy, that last one was huge.”
Gustafson made two free throws with :08 remaining in regulation to force overtime, then sank two more with :04 left in overtime.
“At the beginning of the game my free throws were a little rough, but I told myself to pull it together,” said Gustafson, who was 1 of 3 from the line in the first 30 minutes. “In my mind, when I’m practicing free throws on my own, I’m visualizing these situations with a big crowd and down two (points). To be able to visualize those in practice correlates into the game when it actually happens.”
Iowa improves to 17-6 overall, 5-5 in the Big Ten with its second victory in the last three games. Michigan State (14-9, 4-6) has lost four in a row.
Gustafson finished with a game-high 36 points — the fifth time this season she has scored 30-or-more points. She scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and four more in overtime. With 17 rebounds, Gustafson compiled her 21st double-double in 23 games.
Sophomore Kathleen Doyle joined Gustafson with a double-double, but her fourth of the season came on points (11) and assists (11). Coley’s game-winning basket was just her second made field goal of the game.
After making just 2 of 9 field goals in the third quarter, the Hawkeyes finished strong by shooting 60 percent from the field in the fourth quarter.
Iowa trailed 58-53 with 4:50 remaining, but Doyle scored five straight points in 40 seconds to tie the game. The Hawkeyes were behind 65-61 with 2:06 left, but Gustafson scored a field goal and two free throws to send it to overtime.
“We felt we had the momentum going into overtime,” Bluder said. “I was thrilled for us to force overtime, as long as our defense kept holding.”
The Hawkeyes play four of their next six games at home.
“We’re talking about turning the calendar away from January and into February and it started pretty well,” Bluder said.
Sidney Cooks scored 16 points for Michigan State, but Iowa held the Spartans to 37.5-percent shooting for the game (30 of 80).
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“I thought we got off to a good, good start in the first quarter (23-17 lead) and then in overtime, we held them to three points. Rebounding won it for us today.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Iowa won the rebounding battle, 52-38, with 13 offensive rebounds. The Hawkeyes scored 16 second-chance points.
This is the second straight time Iowa has defeated Michigan State in overtime. The Hawkeyes also prevailed, 87-83, in overtime on Feb. 9, 2017, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday to host Minnesota. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. (CT). The Gophers won the first meeting, 77-72, on Jan. 21 in Minneapolis.
“It’s an opportunity for us on our home court,” Bluder said. “Hopefully we’ll have a great crowd like we had last Sunday. They were so amazing to come out 9,000 strong.”