The No. 8/8 University of Iowa women’s basketball team hosts 15th-seeded Mercer in the 2019 NCAA Tournament First Round on Friday. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. (CT) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
All-session tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for seniors (50 & over) and youth (18 & younger). Single-session tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for seniors and youth. Tickets are available on at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.
- Friday’s contest will air on ESPN2 in the state of Iowa and portions of Georgia. John Brickley (play-by-play) and Christy Winters Scott (analyst) will have the call from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. People located outside of the local viewing area can watch via 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.
- 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.
NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY
- Iowa enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 2 seed. The Hawkeyes have been a No. 2 seed three times in program history (1993, 1996, 2019). Iowa is 5-2 all-time as a No. 2 seed.
- This marks Iowa’s 26th trip to the NCAA Tournament.
- The Hawkeyes have advanced to the Sweet 16 six times and the Elite 8 three times. Iowa advanced to the Final Four in 1993.
- Head coach Lisa Bluder has led the Hawkeyes to 14 NCAA Tournament appearances in 19 years.
- Iowa has advanced to the postseason in 18 of her 19 seasons (14 NCAA, 4 WNIT).
- Iowa is 13-7 all-time record when playing at home in the NCAA Tournament.
IN THE RANKINGS
- Iowa is ranked No. 8 in this week’s AP Poll and USA Today Coaches poll. It marks Iowa’s highest national ranking since 1996.
- Iowa is one of four Big Ten teams that are ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. They include: No. 8 Iowa, No. 9 Maryland, Rutgers (5 votes), and Michigan (1 vote).
- Two Big Ten teams are ranked in the AP Poll. Iowa and Maryland are ranked eighth and ninth, respectively.
- Six Big Ten teams made the NCAA Tournament. They include Iowa (2), Maryland (3), Rutgers (7), Michigan (9), Michigan State (9), and Indiana (10).
- Three Big Ten teams accepted bids to the WNIT. They include Minnesota, Northwestern, and Ohio State.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
- Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks eighth nationally.
- The Hawkeyes have registered six wins over ranked opponents this season (No. 25/20 West Virginia, No. 23/20 Minnesota, No. 14/18 Rutgers, No. 23/21 Michigan State, No. 7/8 Maryland, and No. 8/8 Maryland).
- Iowa has 26 wins for the first time since 2014-15. Iowa finished the 2014-15 season with a 26-8 overall mark and made a trip to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
- The Hawkeyes will go for win No. 27 on Friday. The last time an Iowa team registered 27 wins was 2013-14 (27-9).
HOME IS WHERE THE TIGERHAWK IS
- Iowa has won 19 consecutive games on Mediacom Court in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, including a 15-0 mark this season.
- The last loss for the Hawkeyes at home was a 92-74 defeat against Nebraska on Jan. 28, 2018.
- The Hawkeyes went undefeated on their home court in the regular season for the first time since 2014-15 (18-0).
- Friday marks the first ever meeting between the Hawkeyes and Bears.
- Mercer enters the NCAA Tournament with a 25-7 overall mark. The Bears were a perfect 14-0 in the Southern Conference.
- The Bears won their second consecutive Southern Conference Tournament title. They enter the NCAA Tournament on a 17-game winning streak, dating back to Jan. 12.
- Mercer is led by SoCon Players of the Year Amanda Thompson (coaches) and KeKe Calloway (media). Calloway leads the team in scoring, averaging 17.9 points per game, while Thompson paces the team with 10.7 rebounds per contest.
- The Bears are led by head coach Susie Gardner. She has led her team to four consecutive SoCon regular season titles and a streak of 34 straight SoCon regular season victories.
- The Hawkeyes claimed the Big Ten Tournament title with a 90-76 win over top-seeded Maryland on March 10.
- Senior Megan Gustafson led the Hawkeyes with 45 points (17-for-24), 10 rebounds, and three blocks. Her 45 points were a Big Ten Championship record. Senior Tania Davis (14) and junior Kathleen Doyle (13) also scored in double figures for the Hawkeyes.
- Gustafson was named the Big Ten Tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while senior Hannah Stewart was named to the All-Tournament team.
- The Hawkeyes defeated Rutgers, 72-67, in the semifinal and Indiana, 90-76, in the quarterfinals to advance to the championship game.
- Of the 130 FBS schools in the country, only 13 had football go to a bowl game and both men’s and women’s basketball teams make it to the NCAA Tournament.
- Iowa is one of just three Big Ten schools to accomplish the feat (Iowa, Michigan, and Michigan State).
ESPNW PLAYER OF THE YEAR
- Senior Megan Gustafson was named the unanimous ESPNW Player of the Year on March 15.
- She is the first ESPNW Player of the Year in program history. She is the first Big Ten student to earn women’s basketball national player-of-the-year honors since 1999.
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native also earned unanimous first team All-America honors from ESPNW on March 14.
B1G RECORD WATCH
- Senior Megan Gustafson is approaching two Big Ten single season records and one career mark.
- Gustafson needs 20 points to tie the current conference record for points in a single season. Rachel Banham (Minnesota) set the current mark of 917 in 2015-16. Gustafson has 897 points.
- With two more rebounds, Gustafson will tie the conference record for rebounds in a single season. Amanda Zahui B (Minnesota) set the current record of 426 in 2014-15. Gustafson has 424 rebounds.
- Gustafson needs 19 rebounds to tie the Big Ten record for rebounds in a career. Jantel Lavender (Ohio State) holds the current mark of 1,422 (2008-11). Gustafson has 1,403 rebounds.
- RECORD BOOK… SHARPIE
- Senior Megan Gustafson broke her own school record for points and double-doubles in a single season against Indiana on March 8.
- Gustafson now has 897 points this season, besting her 2017-18 total of 823.
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, has a single-season high 30 double-doubles in Iowa’s 32 games this season.
- On March 10, Gustafson bested her own record for rebounds in a single season. She has 424 rebounds, besting her 2017-18 mark of 411.
SENIORS STEP UP
- Iowa’s three seniors — Tania Davis, Megan Gustafson, and Hannah Stewart — averaged a combined 52.3 points, 25.0 rebounds, and 7.7 assists per game in the Big Ten Tournament.
- Davis, Gustafson, and Stewart scored a combined 67 points, 20 rebounds, and six assists in the championship game against Maryland on March 10.
- The trio combined for all 15 of Iowa’s fourth quarter points to lead Iowa to a win over Rutgers.
B1G DUO ON THE BOARDS
- Seniors Megan Gustafson and Hannah Stewart combined to record 30 rebounds in Iowa’s win over Indiana on March 8.
- Gustafson grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds, while Stewart registered 13.
- Indiana’s entire team record 32 rebounds.
- Senior Megan Gustafson was named the consensus Big Ten Player of the Year.
- Gustafson became the first Hawkeye in program history to win the award twice.
- She is the first Hawkeye student-athlete chosen as the coaches’ Player of the Year since 1998 (Tangela Smith).
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native is the ninth two-time Big Ten Player of the Year in conference history. She joins Jantel Lavender (OSU, four times), Jessica Davenport (OSU, three times), Kelsey Mitchell (OSU, three time), Anucha Browne (NW, two times), Tracey Hall (OSU, two times), Maggie Lucas (PSU, two times), Kelly Mazzante (PSU, two times), and Katie Douglas (PU, two times).
- Gustafson as also a unanimous first time All-Big Ten honoree (coaches & media) and named to the Big Ten All-Defensive Team.
- Gustafson was honored by the Big Ten every week this season, including 13 Player of the Week nods and four Honor Roll mentions.
- She has 23 Big Ten Player of the Week awards in her career. Gustafson owns the conference record for career weekly awards, besting Jantel Lavender’s (Ohio State) previous mark of 19. She also owns the record for awards in a single season (12).
- Three Hawkeyes earned all-conference honors.
- Senior Megan Gustafson was a unanimous first team All-Big Ten honoree (coaches & media).
- Junior Kathleen Doyle earned first team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and second team accolades from the media.
- Senior Tania Davis was named a consensus honorable mention All-Big Ten selection.
- Senior Hannah Stewart was named Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.
B1G RECORDS FALL
- The Hawkeyes set a Big Ten record for assists in a single-season with 702 total assists, surpassing Maryland’s mark of 694 assists in 2016-17.
- Iowa set a Big Ten record with 392 assists during the conference season. The Hawkeyes topped Ohio State’s mark of 356 set in 1984-85.
- The Hawkeyes averaged 21.8 assists per game during conference play — passing Iowa’s own record of 20.8 assists per game during the 2000-01 Big Ten season.
- Senior Megan Gustafson made 211 field goals (11.7 per contest) during the conference season, besting the Big Ten record set by Northwestern’s Anucha Browne of 205 field goals (11.4 per game) in 1984-85.
SHARING IS CARING
- Through 32 games this season, the Hawkeyes are averaging 21.9 assists per contest — the second-best mark in the NCAA.
- Seven Hawkeyes have dished out 30 or more assists this season, while six have dished out 56 or more. Junior Kathleen Doyle has dished out a team-high 149 assists. She averages 6.0 assists per game.
- In 18 conference games, Doyle averaged 6.3 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.
THAT’S OUR HEAD COACH
- Head Coach Lisa Bluder was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Coach of the Year on March 12.
- Four Big Ten coaches have earned the honor, including former Hawkeye head coach C. Vivian Stringer (1993).
NAME A BETTER TRIO… WE’LL WAIT
- Iowa’s senior class of Tania Davis, Megan Gustafson, and Hannah Stewart owns an overall record of 89-42 (68 percent), including a 56-12 mark in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (82 percent).
- Davis, Gustafson, and Stewart have started all 32 games for the Hawkeyes.
- Collectively, Iowa’s three seniors are averaging 50.0 points, 22.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game this season.
THEY SEE US ROLLIN’
- The Hawkeyes have won 10 of their last 11 contests.
- Three of Iowa’s last 10 wins have come against top-25 teams, including No. 21 Michigan State, No. 7 Maryland, and No. 8 Maryland.
- In the last 11 games, senior Megan Gustafson is averaging 31.1 points and 14.4 rebounds. She is shooting 68.5 percent from the field and 85.0 percent from the free throw line.
- Junior Kathleen Doyle is averaging 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 6.4 assists over the last 11 contests.
- As a team, the Hawkeyes are averaging 79.3 points and holding opponents to 64.5 points. Iowa is shooting 51.3 percent from the field and holding opponents to a 38.5 shooting percentage.
EFFECTIVE & EFFICIENT
- Senior Megan Gustafson ranks first nationally in field goal percentage, shooting 69.6 percent. She has made an NCAA-best 369 field goals.
- No student-athlete in the history of NCAA women’s basketball has ever averaged 28 or more points, 13 or more rebounds, and shot 70 percent or better from the field.
- According to Her Hoop Stats, Gustafson averages 1.34 points per possession this season — the best rate in the country. Gustafson also ranks first in points per scoring attempt at 1.44.
- Gustafson is just the eighth athlete in Big Ten history to shoot 70 percent or better from the field and the first since 2011 (Carolyn Swords, Boston College).
- Junior Kathleen Doyle has recorded five or more assists in 19 of her 25 games.
- Doyle was one assist shy of her fifth career double-double at Indiana (2/21).
- In 25 games this season, Doyle is averaging 6.0 assists per game. Her 6.0 assists per contests rank 12th nationally.
- In 18 Big Ten regular season games, Doyle averaged 6.3 assists per game — the best mark in the conference.
OOPS, SHE DID IT AGAIN
- Senior Megan Gustafson recorded her 85th career double-double with 45 points and 10 rebounds against Maryland on March 10.
- She has a program-record 30 double-doubles this season. She bested her own previous record of 28 against Rutgers on March 9.
- Gustafson broke the Big Ten record for double-doubles in a career against Illinois on Feb. 14. Jantel Lavender (2007-11) previously held the record of 77.
- Gustafson’s 30 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.
- She has registered a double-double in 62 of her last 71 games, including 26 of her last 27 games.
- Iowa’s 51.9 field goal percentage leads the nation.
- Through 32 games this season, Iowa is averaging 79.8 points per game, a mark that ranks first in the Big Ten and 13th 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.
OH MY, 40
- Senior Megan Gustafson netted 45 points in Iowa’s win over Maryland on March 10. It marks the third time she’s scored 40 or more points this season (Drake, 12/21, Michigan State, 2/7).
- Gustafson has surpassed 30 points 12 times this season — a mark that leads the NCAA.
- She’s netted 20 or more points in 29 of Iowa’s 32 contests.
- 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. Gustafson has 2,700 career points.
- 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 also broke Iowa’s program record for career rebounds against Iowa State on Dec. 5.
- Gustafson has 1,403 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).
ALL EYES ON GUSTAFSON
- On March 9, senior Megan Gustafson was named one of 15 semifinalists for the Wooden Award.
- On March 4, Gustafson was named one of 10 finalists for the Naismith Trophy.
- On Feb. 5, Gustafson was named to the midseason Wade Watch List. She is one of 35 student-athletes on the list for the WBCA’s Wade Trophy.
- Gustafson was one of 20 student-athletes included on the John R. Wooden Award Late Season Watch List, ESPNW announced Feb. 4.
- On Feb. 19, Gustafson was named one of 10 semifinalist for the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.
- Gustafson was named one of 10 finalists for the 2019 Lisa Leslie Award on Feb. 15. The award recognizes the top centers in women’s basketball.
- She was named 1-of-10 finalists for the Senior Class Award on Feb. 6.
With a win, Iowa would advance to play the winner of Friday afternoon’s matchup between 10th seeded Drake and seventh-seeded Missouri.