By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Want to script a perfect game plan to snap a two-game losing skid?
How about being perfect on your first seven field goal attempts and scoring 23 first-quarter points?
The University of Iowa women’s basketball team (5-2) used that strategy and notched a 92-63 nonconference victory over Robert Morris (1-6) on Sunday in front of 3,457 on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes remain perfect in three tries at home this season, scoring 90, 106, and now 92 points. They excelled in the first and fourth quarters, outscoring Robert Morris, 48-16. In quarters two and three, the Colonials held a 47-44 edge.
“I was happy with our first and fourth quarters,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Second and third (quarters) we have some work to do. But first and fourth quarters were very good.”
Robert Morris opened strong, holding a 9-7 lead with 6:22 left in the first quarter. Iowa junior Makenzie Meyer sank a 3-point field goal from the left baseline 12 seconds later and the Hawkeyes had a lead they would not relinquish. Iowa closed the first quarter on a 16-2 run.
The Colonials pulled within 56-52 with 4:49 left in the third quarter.
Iowa’s senior All-American Megan Gustafson scored a season-high 32 points, shooting 13-of-15 from the field and 6-of-6 from the line. She pulled own 12 rebounds in 23 minutes.
“Coming off a couple tough losses, that gives us a chip on our shoulder,” Gustafson said. “Being able to go in and have a good game is important and we did in the first and fourth quarters. We’re going to get four quarters of good game coming up here and it’s important to have that final tuneup before we go into the Iowa Series with the different teams in the state of Iowa.”
Senior Hannah Stewart scored 16 points and Meyer added 12. Sophomore Alexis Sevillian scored nine points and handed out seven assists.
Robert Morris was led by Nneka Ezeigbo with 13 points and four steals.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“I was happy with the way we shot the ball, but we were getting good shots. When you get that many paint points (56) that is a good thing. I was happy with our assists (28), happy with the way we dominated the boards (plus-14), we did a really good job on the boards.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Iowa scored 56 points in the paint, thanks to a trio of post players who combined to shoot 23-of-27 from the field. Gustafson was 13-of-15, Stewart was 6-of-8, and freshman Monika Czinano was 4-of-4. Czinano finished with nine points.
“I’m just happy I coach a team with the mentality that they love the assist and they are going to take what’s there,” Bluder said. “They don’t care about getting theirs, they care about the team and our mission. I’m very happy that they recognize that and go out and get the high-percentage shot.”
Gustafson is three rebounds from tying Cindy Haugejorde’s school-record total of 1,067 established from 1976-80.
The Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series switches its attention to women’s basketball Wednesday. The Hawkeyes (5-2) host Iowa State (6-1) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena beginning at 7 p.m. (CT). Iowa has won the last two meetings, including 61-55 last season in Ames, Iowa.
“I know I’m excited and my teammates are excited,” Gustafson said. “It feels like we’re all from the state of Iowa this week.”