By RICK BROWN
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Megan Gustafson is now the No. 1 scorer in University of Iowa basketball history. Unfortunately, the 16th-ranked Hawkeyes are 0-1 in Big Ten play after suffering an 84-70 loss to No. 21 Michigan State on Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center.
Gustafson, a 6-foot 3-inch senior from Port Wing, Wis., scored 30 points and added 14 rebounds, but the Spartans (11-1) rallied in the second half for its eighth straight victory.
Gustafson entered the game needing nine points to pass former teammate Ally Disterhoft (2,102 points) as the program’s all-time scoring leader. She moved to No. 1 with her 892nd career field goal late in the first quarter.
“It’s meaningful,” Gustafson said. “Ally Disterhoft is one of my really good friends. I played two years with her. I miss her a lot. I just saw a text from her saying congratulations. It does mean a lot coming from her.”
Gustafson also became the all-time leading scorer at Iowa when she passed men’s leader Roy Marble (2,116 points) in the second half. Gustafson now has 2,124 points.
“I guess I didn’t know I was close to the men’s record, too,” Gustafson said. “My teammates do a good job of setting me up. At the end of the day I have to thank my teammates.”
Gustafson added 14 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season and program-best 66th of her career.
Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder has had the pleasure to coach two career scoring leaders at Iowa.
“We’re thankful,” Bluder said. “Ally had a great career at Iowa. The amazing thing about Megan is that she’s doing it with two-point shots and free throws. There’s no 3-pointers on her resume. It’s an amazing honor for her.”
The Spartans, getting a career-high 27 points from freshman guard Nia Clouden and 20 points and a career-best 17 rebounds from senior center Jenna Allen, played catch-up the entire first half after falling behind out of the gate, 15-2.
Michigan State rallied to tie the game after a quarter, 23-23, but a nine-point burst by Gustafson put Iowa back in command at 34-27. The Hawkeyes led 43-37 at the break.
Gustafson had 21 points in the first half, on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. Michigan State head coach Suzy Merchant put Allen on Gustafson to start the third quarter, and the strategy worked.
Gustafson didn’t make a field goal in just two attempts in the third quarter, and the Spartans took momentum away from Iowa with a 15-2 run. The Hawkeyes had just two field goals in the quarter and were not able to recover down the stretch.
Michigan State had an advantage in several significant statistical categories. The Spartans had a 48-34 edge in rebounding, and a 21-10 advantage in second-chance points.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“They beat us at our own game. They outscored us in the paint, 48-40, and had 30 paint points the second half.”
- Cindy Haugejorde ended her Iowa career in 1979-80 as Iowa’s career scoring leader with 2,059 points. That mark lasted for 1,116 games until Ally Disterhoft passed her in a game against Missouri State on March 16, 2017. Disterhoft only got to keep the record for 47 games until Gustafson passed her.
- Michigan had 14 second-chance points to just three for the Hawkeyes.
- Iowa squeezed off 18 three-point attempts, but made just four.
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Iowa entered the game second nationally in free-throw percentage at .806. But the Hawkeyes were just 14-of-20 on Sunday (70 percent).
Iowa returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday for its Big Ten home opener against Nebraska. The game tips off at 7 p.m. (CT).