The 16th-ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team opens Big Ten play on Sunday, traveling to East Lansing, Michigan, for a matchup with No. 21/22 Michigan State. Tipoff is at 12 p.m. (CT) in the Breslin Center.
- Sunday’s contest will air live on ESPN2. Eric Frede (play-by-play) and Kara Lawson (analyst) will have the call from the Breslin Center. It will also be streamed on WatchESPN. Links to the broadcast are available on the women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Live stats are available on the women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Jim Albrecht and Jamie Cavey Lang will call the action on the Hawkeye Radio Network. A link to the broadcast is available on the women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Lang is in her third year as Iowa’s color commentator. She lettered at Iowa from 2002-05. Lang finished her Hawkeye career with 1,265 points and 506 rebounds. She was a two-time All-Big Ten selection.
- Iowa is ranked No. 16 in both major polls this week.
- The Hawkeyes are one of six conference teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the Coaches Poll. No. 4 Maryland, No. 15 Minnesota, and No. 22 Michigan State are also ranked within the top-25, while Michigan (4) and Indiana (1) are also receiving votes.
- Iowa is one of five conference teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the AP Poll. They include: No. 4 Maryland, No. 12 Minnesota, No. 21 Michigan State, and Indiana (6 votes).
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
- The Hawkeyes faced four nonconference teams who made the 2018 NCAA Tournament, including Drake, Western Kentucky, Florida State, and defending National Champions Notre Dame. Iowa went 2-2 in those matchups.
- Six Big Ten teams — Ohio State, Maryland, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, and Minnesota — made the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
- Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks 33rd nationally.
BIG TEN OPENERS
- The Hawkeyes are 12-6 in Big Ten openers under head coach Lisa Bluder.
- Iowa has won five of its last seven Big Ten openers.
- Last season, Iowa defeated Wisconsin, 56-45, in its Big Ten opener in Madison, Wisconsin.
- Senior Megan Gustafson’s 2,094 career points rank second all-time at Iowa.
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native needs nine points to break (eight to tie) Iowa’s all-time career scoring record.
- Ally Disterhoft set the current scoring record of 2,102 in 2017.
- Prior to Disterhoft, Cindy Haugejorde (1976-80) held the scoring record of 2,059 for 37 years.
- Gustafson needs 23 points to break the program (men or women) record for points in a career.
- Roy Marble holds the current record of 2,116 (1986-89).
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
- Michigan State is 10-1 on the season with its lone loss coming No. 15 NC State.
- The Spartans have won their last seven contests, dating back to Nov. 23.
- Jenna Allen leads the Spartans, averaging 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds.
- Five Spartans are averaging double figures in scoring.
- As a team, the Spartans lead the Big Ten and rank seventh nationally in scoring offense (85.6). Michigan State also ranks second in assists per game (22.4), third in assists (246) and assist/turnover ratio (1.56), and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (42.2).
- Iowa leads the all-time series, 37-28.
- The Hawkeyes defeated the Spartans, 71-68, in overtime in East Lansing last season.
- The last two meetings went to overtime with Iowa winning both contests.
- Senior Megan Gustafson led all scorers with 36 points and 17 rebounds last season. Junior Kathleen Doyle also scored in double figures (11 points).
BACK-TO-BACK STATE CHAMPS
- For the first time in program history, the Hawkeyes defeated all three in-state teams in back-to-back seasons.
- The Hawkeyes clinched the state championship with a 91-82 win at Drake.
- Iowa defeated Iowa State, 73-70, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Dec. 5. The Hawkeyes then downed UNI, 83-57, in Iowa City on Dec. 16.
REBOUNDING RECORD FALLS
- Senior Megan Gustafson broke Iowa’s program record for career rebounds with 4:27 left in the first quarter against Iowa State on Dec. 5.
- Gustafson has 1,116 rebounds in her career. She bested the previous record of 1,067 set by Cindy Haugejorde in 1980. Gustafson registered her 1,000th career rebound at Western Kentucky (11/13).
HAWKEYES DOWN DRAKE IN NONCONFERENCE FINALE
- Iowa improved to 9-2 on the season with a 91-82 win at Drake on Dec. 21.
- Senior Megan Gustafson scored a season-high 44 points on 17-for-24 shooting (71 percent) from the field. She also grabbed 14 rebounds to notch her 10th double-double of the season.
- Gustafson scored 30 of her 44 points in the second half, including 19 in the fourth quarter.
- Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures, including Gustafson, Hannah Stewart (14), Tania Davis (14), and Makenzie Meyer (10). Kathleen Doyle added nine points.
2ND HALF DOMINANCE
- Senior Megan Gustafson is averaging 15.4 points and 6.0 rebounds in the second half this season.
- Gustafson is shooting 80.5 percent from the field and 84.1 percent from free throw range over the final 20 minutes of action.
- In the fourth quarter alone, Gustafson averages 9.7 points and 3.0 rebounds. She is shooting 82 percent from the field and 86 percent from the free throw line in the fourth quarter this season.
- Iowa is ranked in the top-11 nationally in six categories. Iowa is second in assists per game (22.4) and free throw percentage (80.6), third in assists (246) and field goal percentage (52.6), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.48), and 11th in scoring offense (84.8).
- Senior Megan Gustafson ranks in the top-10 nationally in eight categories. She leads the nation in field goal percentage (74.7), field goals made (121), points per game (26.5), and double-doubles (10), ranks second in total points (291), fifth in defensive rebounds per game (9), sixth in rebounds (137), and 10th in rebounds per game (12.5).
IT WAS FOR FREE! SO I SAID “SURE”
- The Hawkeyes are shooting 81 percent from the free throw line this season — a mark that ranks first in the Big Ten Conference and second nationally.
- Iowa was a perfect 15-for-15 from the free throw line against Iowa State on Dec. 5. Junior Kathleen Doyle (6-for-6), senior Megan Gustafson (5-for-5), junior Makenzie Meyer (2-for-2), and redshirt sophomore Alexis Sevillian (2-for-2) all made free throws in the contest.
- Davis made a career-high 13-of-14 free throws in Iowa’s 24-point comeback win against No. 25/20 West Virginia on Nov. 24.
- The Hawkeyes made 27 free throws in 32 attempts (84.4 percent) against the Mountaineers.
- Senior Megan Gustafson became just the third Hawkeye in program history to score 2,000 career points in Iowa’s win over IUPUI on Dec. 8.
- Gustafson is just the seventh Big Ten student-athlete to register 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career, joining Illinois’ Jenna Smith (2007-10), Minnesota’s Laura Coenen (1982-85), Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper (2011-14), Northwestern’s Nia Coffey (2014-17), and Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport (2004-07) and Jantel Lavender (2008-11).
- Gustafson needs nine points to break Ally Disterhoft’s all-time career scoring mark of 2,102 set in 2017.
GUESS WHO’S BACK?
- Junior Kathleen Doyle returned to the court on Dec. 5 after missing seven games with a pair of broken bones in her left (non-shooting) hand.
- Doyle scored a game-high 22 points off the bench for the Hawkeyes against Iowa State in her return. She was 7-for-17 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
- The LaGrange Park, Illinois, native also registered two steals, an assist, and made a pair of 3-pointers in the contest.
- Doyle made her first start of the season against UNI on Dec. 16. She scored 13 points, dished out seven assists, pulled down four rebounds, and denied three shots in 30 minutes of action.
- The Preseason All-Big Ten selection averaged 11.1 points, 6.6 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in 30 games last season. She ranked 12th nationally in assists per game, and led the Big Ten with 7.5 assists per game in conference action.
THE B1G DUO
- Seniors Hannah Stewart and Megan Gustafson have dominated down low for the Hawkeyes.
- Stewart and Gustafson are scoring a combined 39.5 points per game and averaging 18.6 rebounds per contest.
- The duo has 434 points, 205 rebounds, 44 assists, and 24 blocks. They are shooting a combined 69 percent (183-for-266) from the field.
SHARING IS CARING
- Through 11 games this season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 22.4 assists per contest — the second-best mark in the NCAA.
- Eight Hawkeyes have dished out 10 or more assists this season. Junior Makenzie Meyer leads the team with 53 (4.8 per game).
- The Hawkeyes set new school assist records in back-to-back games against Western Kentucky and North Carolina Central.
- Iowa dished out 34 assists against Western Kentucky on Nov. 13, before besting that mark with 36 against North Carolina Central on Nov. 17.
- Through 11 games this season, Iowa is averaging 84.8 points per game, a mark that ranks second in the Big Ten and 11th nationally.
- Iowa’s 52.6 field goal percentage ranks third in the NCAA.
- Iowa scored 106 points in its win over North Carolina Central on Nov. 17. It marked the second-highest point total in program history.
- Iowa’s 67-point margin of victory (106-39) against North Carolina Central marked the largest scoring margin for the Hawkeyes since 1992-93.
- Megan Gustafson recorded her 65th career double-double with 44 points and 14 rebounds against Drake on Dec. 21. It marked her 10th double-double of the season.
- Gustafson broke the program record (men or women) with her 49th career double-double (25 points, 15 rebounds) against Minnesota on Feb. 4, 2018. Gustafson surpassed former Iowa men’s basketball player Kevin Kunnert’s career total of 48 set in 1971-73.
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native had 28 double-doubles last season — the second most in the NCAA.
- She has registered a double-double in 42 of her last 50 games.
STEWART COMES UP B1G
- Senior Hannah Stewart has started all 11 games for the Hawkeyes this season — the first 11 starts of her career.
- Stewart is averaging 13.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.
- The Minot, North Dakota, native has scored 12 or more points in nine of Iowa’s 11 games this season.
SHE’S ON A ROLL
- Senior Megan Gustafson was named the Big Ten Player of the Week for the sixth time this season on Monday.
- It is the 16th Player of the Week award of her career — the third most by a Big Ten athlete. Jantel Lavender (Ohio State) holds the record for Player of the Week awards in a career with 19 (2008-11).
- Gustafson has been honored by the conference in each of the first seven weeks of the season, including six Player of the Week awards and one honor roll mention.
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native scored a season-high 44 points on 17-for-24 (71 percent) shooting from the field to lead the Hawkeyes to an 91-82 victory over Drake on Friday. She pulled down 14 rebounds (seven offensive) to register her NCAA-leading 10th double-double of the season. Gustafson scored 30 points (11-for-13) in the second half, including 19 (7-for-8) in the fourth quarter. She also made 10-of-14 free throws in the contest.
- Gustafson broke a Big Ten single-season record last year, winning nine Player of the Week honors. She was also named to the conference’s honor roll six times.
TANIA DAVIS: THE RETURN
- Senior Tania Davis returned to the starting lineup in Iowa’s season opener for the first time since Dec. 17, 2017.
- Through 11 games this season, Davis is averaging 11.4 points and 4.5 assists.
- With 2.6 seconds remaining, Davis hit a game-winning 3-pointer to give Iowa a 73-70 victory over Iowa State on Dec. 5. She ended the game with nine points, three assists, and two steals.
- Davis averaged 9.7 points and 5.2 assists in 12 games before tearing her ACL in 2017-18.
- The Flint, Michigan, native’s sophomore season was also cut short due to injury. In 23 games in 2016-17, Davis averaged 10.9 points and 4.3 assists.
SENIOR CLASS AWARD
- Senior Megan Gustafson was named 1-of-30 finalists for the Senior Class Award.
- To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
- The candidates will be narrowed to 10 in February. Those names will go on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans.
Iowa returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Jan. 3, hosting Nebraska. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. (CT).