By DARREN MILLER
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team survived a 43-percent shooting performance against West Virginia on Nov. 23. The Hawkeyes couldn’t get away with 42-percent shooting against No. 1 Notre Dame on Thursday.
No. 14 Iowa (4-2 overall) trailed by 11 in the first quarter and couldn’t dig out against the defending national champion Irish (7-0). A basket by senior center Megan Gustafson with 3:30 left before halftime brought the Hawkeyes within seven points (41-34), but that was as close as they would get during a 105-71 setback in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Purcell Pavilion.
“The film is going to show plenty of things to work on, so we have that,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Lots of good examples of things we need to work on and improve. I don’t think a lot was gained by this game at all for us. We have to get better; we have to continue to work to get better and maybe this is the awakening that we need to do so.”
Gustafson made 11-of-16 field goals and finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Other Hawkeyes scoring in double figures were senior Tania Davis (15), senior Hannah Stewart (12), and junior Makenzie Meyer (10). Sophomore Alexis Sevillian handed out six assists.
Iowa trailed 45-34 at the break, then Notre Dame scored the first 12 points of the third quarter. The Irish outscored Iowa, 34-14, in the third quarter.
Iowa shot well from the line, making 8-of-9, but that total paled in comparison to Notre Dame’s 17-of-22. The Hawkeyes were 26-of-69 from the field and just 5-of-25 from 3-point.
Notre Dame was led by Arike Ogunbowale with 30 points and Brianna Turner with 11 rebounds.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“We got off to a slow start, but we really battled back in the second quarter. I felt we were doing good things and felt we had good momentum going into halftime. Then the third quarter comes around, we come out of the locker room and just get shellacked. We made immediate turnovers and gave them momentum right off the bat.”
STATISTICS OF THE GAME
Notre Dame scored 54 points in the paint, 16 more than the Hawkeyes. The Irish also enjoyed a rebounding advantage of 13 (49-36) with 25 offensive rebounds.
After playing three straight games away from home, the Hawkeyes return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday against Robert Morris. The Colonials (1-5) have dropped four in a row.
“It would be great to have a wonderful crowd come out and support us after losing two in a row,” Bluder said. “After being gone three games in a row, it would be wonderful to have a terrific home court advantage against Robert Morris.”
Iowa is 4-0 in the all-time series, including am 81-60 win on Dec. 9, 2016.