The No. 14/13 University of Iowa women’s basketball team returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, hosting Illinois at 7 p.m. (CT). Tickets are $12 for adults and free for youth and UI students.
- Thursday’s contest will be streamed live on BTN Plus. 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.
- Rob Brooks 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.
- Brooks is in his third year as the play-by-play announcer for the Iowa women’s basketball team. He has been Iowa football’s sideline announcer since 2004. He has called seven different Iowa sports on radio or television.
- 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. 14 in the AP Poll and No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
- Iowa is one of five conference teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the AP Poll. No. 7 Maryland, No. 14 Iowa, No. 23 Rutgers, and No. 24 Michigan State are all ranked in the top-25, while Minnesota is receiving two votes.
- The Hawkeyes are one of four teams ranked in the USA Today Coaches Poll. They include: No. 8 Maryland, No. 13 Iowa, No. 22 Michigan State, and No. 24 Rutgers.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
- Iowa faces 10 teams who made the 2018 NCAA Tournament, including four nonconference opponents and six Big Ten foes.
- As of Feb. 8, Iowa’s RPI is 11.
- Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks 10th nationally (updated Feb. 8).
- The Hawkeyes have registered four wins over ranked opponents this season (No. 25/20 West Virginia, No. 23/20 Minnesota, No. 14/18 Rutgers, and No. 23/21 Michigan State).
- On Monday, the NCAA women’s basketball selection committee released its first top-16 reveal of the season. Iowa was a No. 3 seed in the Portland Regional. The Hawkeyes were the No. 10 overall seed.
- Illinois is 10-14 overall and 2-11 in Big Ten Conference action.
- The Illini are coming off of their second conference win of the season — a 78-68 victory over Wisconsin (Feb. 10).
- Senior forward Alex Wittinger leads the team, averaging 15.0 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest.
- Junior guard Brandi Beasley is also averaging double figures in scoring, netting 11.5 points per game.
- Wittinger and Beasley combined for 40 points in Illinois’ win over Wisconsin on Feb. 10. Wittinger registered her seventh double-double of the season with 24 points and 12 boards.
- As a team, the Illini are ranked No. 23 nationally in total blocks (113) and No. 31 in blocks per game (4.7).
- Wittinger ranks 10th in the NCAA in total blocks (60) and No. 16 in blocks per game (2.5).
- Iowa leads the all-time series, 56-19.
- The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois, 94-75, in Champaign, Illinois, on Jan. 20. Senior Megan Gustafson led the team with 27 points (12-for-14) and 12 rebounds. Senior Tania Davis added 19 points of 8-for-11 shooting from the field, while junior Kathleen Doyle netted 17 points (7-for-12). Senior Hannah Stewart also scored in double figures, netting 13 points.
- Iowa and Illinois met just once last season. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini, 84-71, in Champaign.
IOWA REGISTERS 4TH B1G ROAD WIN
- The Hawkeyes improved to 19-5 overall and 10-3 in the Big Ten with a 78-52 win over Ohio State in Columbus on Feb. 10.
- Senior Megan Gustafson led the team with 29 points. She made 14-of-19 from the field (73.7 percent). Gustafson pulled down 16 rebounds to registered her 77th double-double, tying the Big Ten record for double-doubles in a career.
- Junior Kathleen Doyle scored 16 points and dished out a team-high six assists.
- The Hawkeyes opened the game on an 8-0 run and began the third quarter on a 7-0 run.
- Iowa made 12-of-15 field goals (80 percent) in the third quarter and outscored the Buckeyes, 27-10.
8 OF THEIR LAST 9
- The Hawkeyes have won eight of their last nine Big Ten contests, including wins over No. 20 Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, No. 14 Rutgers, Purdue, Penn State, No. 21 Michigan State, and Ohio State.
- Four of Iowa’s last eight wins have come on the road, including wins at No. 20 Minnesota (81-63), Illinois (94-75), Penn State (81-61), and Ohio State (78-52).
- The stretch includes victories over three top-25 teams (No. 20 Minnesota, No. 14 Rutgers, and No. 21 Michigan State).
- Senior Megan Gustafson is averaging 29.6 points, 12.7 rebounds, and shooting 71.4 percent from the field over the last nine contests.
- Junior Kathleen Doyle is averaging 14.2 points, 5.9 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.4 steals during that span.
- Senior Tania Davis is also averaging double figures in scoring in the last nine games (11.3). She’s shooting 48.6 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from 3-point range, and dishing out 5.2 assists per contest.
- Iowa is off to its best start in Big Ten play since 2014-15. The Hawkeyes finished the 2014-15 season 26-8 overall, 14-4 in the Big Ten, and made a trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
LOOKING FOR NO. 20
- The Hawkeyes will get their first attempt at win No. 20 against Illinois on Feb. 14.
- Iowa has registered 20 or more wins nine times in the last 11 seasons.
- The Hawkeyes have 11, 20-win seasons under head coach Lisa Bluder.
OOPS, SHE DID IT AGAIN
- Senior Megan Gustafson recorded her 77th career double-double with 29 points and 16 rebounds at Ohio State on Feb. 10.
- The 77 career double-doubles tie Jantel Lavender’s (Ohio State) Big Ten record. Gustafson is just the second student-athlete in Big Ten women’s basketball history to register 70 or more double-doubles.
- Gustafson’s 22 double-doubles this season rank second nationally.
- She 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 54 of her last 63 games, including 18 of her last 19 games.
- Iowa’s 52.3 field goal percentage ranks second nationally.
- The Hawkeyes have shot 50.0 percent or better from the field in nine straight games.
- Through 24 games this season, Iowa is averaging 80.3 points per game, a mark that ranks first in the Big Ten and 14th nationally.
- Iowa scored 106 points in its win over North Carolina Central on Nov. 17. It marked the second-highest point total in program history.
- After falling to Michigan State, 84-70, in East Lansing on Dec. 30, the Hawkeyes bounced back with an 86-71 win over No. 23/21 Michigan State on Thursday.
- Senior Megan Gustafson scored 41 points on 71 percent shooting (17-for-24) from the field. She was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line.
- Junior Kathleen Doyle registered 18 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. She made 4-of-6 from 3-point range. The four 3-pointers made matched a career best.
- Senior Tania Davis also scored in double figures for the Hawkeyes. She netted 10 points, dished out five assists, and pulled down five rebounds in the victory.
SOMEBODY CALL 9-1-1, WE’D LIKE TO REPORT A THEFT
- In just 17 games this season, junior Kathleen Doyle has registered a team-high 41 steals (2.4 per game).
- She recorded a career-high six steals in 29 minutes of game action at Michigan on Feb. 1.
- The LaGrange Park, Illinois, native is averaging 2.5 steals in 13 conference games this season — the second-highest average in the Big Ten.
OH MY, 40
- Senior Megan Gustafson netted 41 points in Iowa’s win over No. 21 Michigan State on Thursday. It marks the second time she’s scored 40 or more points this season (Drake, 12/21).
- Gustafson has surpassed 30 points eight times this season — a mark that leads the NCAA.
- She’s netted 20 or more points in 21 of Iowa’s 24 contests, including 12 Big Ten games.
THE MEGAN GUSTAFSON AWARD
- For the 11th time this season, senior Megan Gustafson was named the Big Ten Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday.
- It is the 21st Big Ten Player of the Week Award of Gustafson’s career. She now owns the conference record for career weekly awards, besting Jantel Lavender’s (Ohio State) previous mark of 19.
- Gustafson also bested her own single-season record with her 11th honor this season.
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native averaged 35.0 points, 15.0 rebounds, and shot 72.1 percent from the field last week.
- Gustafson has been honored by the conference every week this season, including 11 Player of the Week awards and three Honor Roll mentions.
STEWART COMES UP B1G
- Senior Hannah Stewart has started all 24 games for the Hawkeyes — the first 24 starts of her career.
- Stewart is averaging 11.6 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists.
- The Minot, North Dakota, native has scored 10 or more points in 17 of Iowa’s 24 games this season.
- Stewart registered a steal, layup, blocked shot, and rebound in the final 3:19 to seal Iowa’s win over No. 14 Rutgers on Jan. 23. With 1:28 left, the Minot, North Dakota, native scored on a driving layup to give Iowa a 65-62 lead. On the next Rutgers’ possession, Stewart blocked a shot and brought down the rebound to force a shooting foul and put the game out of reach.
SENIOR CLASS AWARD
- Senior Megan Gustafson was named 1-of-10 finalists for the Senior Class Award on Feb. 6.
- The finalists were chosen from a list of 30 candidates announced earlier this season.
- To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in the community, classroom, character and competition.
- Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner, and fans are encouraged to submit votes online at the Senior CLASS Award website through March 25.
EFFECTIVE & EFFICIENT
- Senior Megan Gustafson ranks second nationally in field goal percentage, shooting 70.6 percent. She has made an NCAA-best 276 field goals this season.
- According to Her Hoop Stats, Gustafson averages 1.34 points per possession this season — the second-best rate in the country. Gustafson also ranks second in points per scoring attempt at 1.45.
THE B1G DUO
- Seniors Hannah Stewart and Megan Gustafson have dominated down low for the Hawkeyes.
- The duo ranks in the top-25 nationally in field goal percentage. Gustafson ranks second nationally at 70.6 percent, while Stewart ranks 24th at 58.2 percent. They rank first and fourth, respectively, in the Big Ten.
- Stewart and Gustafson are scoring a combined 39.0 points per game and averaging 19.0 rebounds per contest.
- The duo has 933 points, 455 rebounds, 101 assists, and 60 blocks. They are shooting a combined 66.2 percent (400-for-604) from the field.
- Junior Kathleen Doyle has registered five or more assists in 13 of her 17 games.
- Doyle finished one assist shy of her fifth career double-double in Iowa’s win over Nebraska on Jan. 3. Her nine assists marked a season high.
- In 17 games this season, Doyle is averaging 5.8 assists per game.
- In 13 Big Ten games, Doyle is averaging 6.2 assists per game — the best mark in the conference.
- Senior Megan Gustafson became the University of Iowa’s all-time leading scorer on Dec. 30, surpassing both the men’s and women’s records.
- Ally Disterhoft (2013-17) set the previous women’s record of 2,102 in 2017.
- Roy Marble held the men’s record of 2,116 since 1989.
- Gustafson has 2,458 career points.
- Gustafson also broke Iowa’s program record for career rebounds against Iowa State on Dec. 5.
- Gustafson has 1,296 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).
SHARING IS CARING
- Through 24 games this season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 22.3 assists per contest — the third-best mark in the NCAA.
- Seven Hawkeyes have dished out 20 or more assists this season. Senior Tania Davis leads the team with 115 (4.8 per game).
- In 13 conference games, junior Kathleen Doyle is averaging 6.2 assists — the best mark in the Big Ten.
- The Hawkeyes set new school assist records in back-to-back games. Iowa dished out 34 assists against Western Kentucky on Nov. 13, before besting that mark with 36 against North Carolina Central on Nov. 17.
Iowa returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, hosting Maryland at 12 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2.