A four-point halftime lead didn’t offer much comfort for the Iowa women’s basketball team Sunday. The Hawkeyes looked to be in another Big Ten road grind.
Until Megan Gustafson took over.
Iowa’s all-American senior outscored Ohio State in the third quarter Sunday, turning a back-and-forth affair into a runaway rout. The No. 16 Hawkeyes won for the eighth time in their last nine, 78-52, at Value City Arena.
Gustafson had 15 in the third as part of a 29-point, 16-rebound night. Her 77th career double-double tied Jantel Lavender’s Big Ten record.
"We mixed up our zones and tried to throw some different looks at them as well," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said on BTN postgame. "Everybody talks about Megan's points, but it's also her defense and rebounds — she gets so many possessions back by the way she controls the boards."
A 27-10 third-quarter edge gave Iowa (19-5, 10-3 Big Ten Conference) all the room it needed. The Hawkeyes began the quarter ahead by four. It exited with a 21-point lead.
Kathleen Doyle added 14 points as Iowa again was down one in the backcourt. Makenzie Meyer (hyper-extended knee) dressed but sat for the second straight game. She remains day-to-day, moving forward.
Iowa struggled from deep (6-for-19), but there were advantages all over the stat sheet. The Hawkeyes had edges in rebounding (43-32), points in the paint (46-28) and assists (22-10).
Up next are two home games: Illinois on Thursday and Maryland on Sunday. The Hawkeyes are all alone in second place and sit just one game behind the Terrapins, meaning Iowa controls its own destiny for a Big Ten title.
Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.