By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It didn’t take long for the University of Iowa women’s basketball team to put on a display of, well, University of Iowa women’s basketball.
Powered by 63 percent shooting from the field and 33 assists, the Hawkeyes coasted to a 102-54 exhibition victory over Dakota Wesleyan on Tuesday on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“This was a good exhibition game for us,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “We came out and did some really nice things. I thought we pushed the ball well, Megan (Gustafson) was typical Megan, what everyone expects — she played terrific.”
Gustafson scored 22 points on 11 of 12 shooting with 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Four other Hawkeyes scored in double figures: junior Makenzie Meyer (19), sophomore Alexis Sevillian (17), freshman Monika Czinano (16), and senior Hannah Stewart (15).
“It is important to have that exhibition to get the younger players used to what Iowa basketball is all about, especially in Carver-Hawkeye Arena,” Gustafson said. “Everyone did a nice job working together. It was great to see that all around in-out game.”
Because of injuries, there were only nine Hawkeyes available Tuesday. Bluder said junior Amanda Ollinger (back) and sophomore Zion Sanders (ankle) could be available for Friday’s season opener.
The shallow bench allowed Czinano (23 minutes) and fellow freshmen Tomi Taiwo (22) and Logan Cook (18) to see extensive playing time. Czinano scored 16 points with five rebounds, Taiwo scored eight points and Cook added three.
“Right now we’re only nine deep, so everybody is going to get a lot of action,” Bluder said. “It’s kind of tough that we only have nine players, but what it did is give our freshman a whole lot of great playing time.”
Sarah Carr led Dakota Wesleyan, the defending NAIA national champions, with 16 points and seven rebounds.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“We had 33 assists on the game so I love it, it was good Iowa basketball — push the ball, good assists, high percentage shooting.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Where do you start? If scoring 102 points isn’t enough, the Hawkeyes handed out 33 assists and made 11 of 22 3-point field goals. Iowa’s defense limited Dakota Wesleyan to 28.6-percent shooting from the field.
Gustafson and Stewart showed why they will be a tough low-post pair to deal with this season. The seniors combined to make 17 of 23 field goals and grabbed 25 rebounds.
The Hawkeyes officially open the regular season Friday against Oral Roberts. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Golden Eagles were 17-13 a year ago and opened the season Tuesday with a 74-46 win over Harris-Stowe.