By DARREN MILLER
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Top-ranked Baylor defeated No. 8 Iowa, 85-53, on Monday in an Elite Eight women’s basketball game in front of 4,164 in Greensboro Coliseum.
The Bears advance to the Final Four with a record of 35-1; Iowa had its eight-game winning streak snapped and finishes the season 29-7.
With 23 points and nine rebounds, Iowa senior All-American center Megan Gustafson just missed on an NCAA record 34th double-double in a season. She did total 1,001 points in a season, becoming only the fourth player in Division I women’s basketball history to accomplish that feat.
Iowa shot 32.1 percent from the field (18 of 56) while Baylor converted at a 52.9-percent clip (37 of 70).
“Baylor was too much for us today,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I’m not going to define our season by the last 40 minutes. I don’t think we played our best game. Did Baylor have something to do with that? Absolutely. I wish we could have shown a little more of Iowa basketball.”
Lauren Cox led Baylor with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
QUOTING COACH BLUDER
“I know they gave their all and worked as hard as they could, believed, and came in here wanting it, but we didn’t get the job done. It would have been nice to hit some 3s and knock some of those down, but Baylor did a good job of getting out there and taking that pass away from us.”
Iowa was 3 of 10 from beyond the arc.
Over the past four seasons, Iowa compiled a record of 92-43 for a 68.1 winning percentage. In their final game, seniors Gustafson, Tania Davis, and Hannah Stewart combined for 41 points, 16 rebounds, and four assists.
“The legacy we left is completely different depending on who you are talking about,” Davis said. “Megan coming in and turning out the player she is…being the all-time leading scorer and rebounder in Iowa history.
“You look at me and I was dealt a bad hand and had to overcome injury after injury and be able to fight back and make honorable mention All-Big Ten and do things I wasn’t supposed to do.
“Then you look at Hannah Stewart who didn’t play (much) her freshman year, then being a starter and a key player for us.”
STATISTICS OF THE GAME
The Hawkeyes dominated inside all season, but Baylor held a decisive advantage down low Monday. The Bears outscored Iowa by 28 points in paint points (52-24).
Baylor also won the rebounding battle, 47-26.
Davis and junior Kathleen Doyle joined Gustafson in double figures with 10 points apiece. Doyle was 2 of 4 from 3-point range and Davis was 1 of 3 from distance.
Iowa was limited to a season-low 12 assists, but Doyle handed out six.
1,000 POINT CLUB
Davis finished the season by scoring 10 points, giving her 1,007 for her career.
The Hawkeyes swiped 11 steals, four each by Doyle and Stewart.
GREATEST OF ALL TIME
Gustafson finishes her unparalleled four-year Hawkeye career with 2,804 points and 1,459 rebounds. She made 1,136 field goals in 1,730 attempts (65.7 percent).