Iowa women's basketball: No. 18 Hawkeyes roll by Illinois behind offensive outburst

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

Taking a cue from the men's squad, the Iowa women’s basketball team made it a Sunday sweep over Illinois.

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder calls out to players during a NCAA Big Ten Conference women's basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.

Hours after Fran McCaffery’s bunch took it to the Fighting Illini in Iowa City, Lisa Bluder’s squad did the same in Champaign. The No. 18 Hawkeyes rolled to a 94-75 win — their third straight in conference play.

Iowa (14-4, 5-2 Big Ten Conference) took care of business against the Big Ten’s cellar dweller. The Hawkeyes built a double-digit lead in the opening quarter and never looked back. Only sparingly did Illinois (9-9, 1-6) climb to within single digits in the second half.

Iowa’s offense clicked all afternoon. Megan Gustafson poured in a team-high 27 points, including her first career trey to beat the first-quarter buzzer. She had plenty of assistance, as well. Tania Davis (19), Kathleen Doyle (17) and Hannah Stewart (13) all reached double figures.

The Hawkeyes finally got their outside game going for the first time in a while. Iowa drained 11 treys — its highest total since hitting 11 versus North Carolina Central on Nov. 17. Iowa shot 62 percent on the day.

This was by no means a surprising result, but Sunday’s win caps a needed 3-0 week as Iowa looks for separation in the Big Ten standings.

The Hawkeyes remain in a tie for second heading into Wednesday’s big home showdown against No. 23 Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights (15-3, 7-0) have won 10 straight and sit atop the Big Ten standings.

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.