By DARREN MILLER
LINCOLN, Neb. — With 31 seconds remaining in the University of Iowa’s 74-58 win over Nebraska on Monday, something rare happened: Hawkeye senior All-American Megan Gustafson missed a shot.
And point guard Tania Davis, who made the entry pass, let her know about it.
“She was (giving me a hard time),” Gustafson said with a laugh. “I hate ruining assists.”
When you dissect Gustafson’s game, ruining assists is something that happens as infrequently as the No. 12 Hawkeyes lose women’s basketball games. Behind 29 points and a career-high 20 rebounds from Gustafson, Iowa completed a season sweep of the Cornhuskers in front of 5,071 at Pinnacle Bank Arena to improve to 22-6 overall, 13-4 in the Big Ten Conference. Nebraska fell to 13-15, 8-9.
Gustafson made 13 of 19 field goals and all three free throws. Meanwhile, the Hawkeye guards piled up assists: junior Makenzie Meyer handed out a career-high 10 and junior Kathleen Doyle had eight.
Iowa made 30 of 57 field goals (53 percent), climbing above 50 percent in a game for the first time in three games.
Senior forward Hannah Stewart joined Gustafson in double-double land with 15 points and 11 rebounds. It is the first double-double of the season for Stewart, the 26th for Gustafson.
“Hannah and Megan don’t score unless Mak, Tania (Davis), and Kathleen get them the ball,” Bluder said.
Iowa trailed 16-12 after the first quarter before opening the second on a 9-0 run. Five of those points came from Davis and two apiece from Gustafson and Meyer.
After making just 5 of 15 field goals in the first quarter, the Hawkeyes shot 63 percent in the second quarter, 54 percent in the third, and 62 percent in the fourth.
Davis scored 14 points and made two 3-point field goals. It is her fourth straight game scoring at least 10 points.
Three Nebraska players scored in double figures, led by freshman Sam Haiby with 12.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“We locked in on defense. We held them to 58 points, 10 points in the second quarter and 11 in the fourth quarter. Our defense was pretty darn good.”
STATISTIC OF THE GAME
Iowa’s starting five accounted for 73 of its 74 points. Junior Amanda Ollinger made 1 of 2 free throws for the Hawkeyes’ lone point off the bench.
Nebraska made 24 of 69 field goals for 34.8 percent. The last time the Hawkeyes held a team to under 35 percent shooting was during an 81-61 win at Penn State on Feb. 3. The Nittany Lions made 24 of 71 for 33.8 percent.
The Hawkeyes will play their final regular season game Sunday against Northwestern on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tip-off is 3 p.m. (CT). The Wildcats (15-12, 8-8) host Indiana on Tuesday.
It will be Senior Day for Davis, Gustafson, and Stewart.
“It was mentioned in our locker room afterwards, just one game left,” Bluder said, “our seniors were like, ‘Don’t say that.’ I don’t think anyone wants to see this season come to an end because they are having so much fun together.”
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