Hawkeyes hold off Wildcats for 20th win of the season, 4th in a row

Register staff reports

The Hawkeyes came away with their 20th win Sunday, topping Northwestern in Evanston, Illinois, 70-61.

Sharp shooting (57 percent from the field) and a strong first half (Iowa led 37-23) propelled Lisa Bluder's team to a dominant victory, during which Iowa held the lead for 37-plus minutes. 

"We got off to a great first quarter and that's four (wins) in a row," Bluder told Hawkeye Athletics. "We came out aggressively to start the game."

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Iowa junior Megan Gustafson got her 24th double-double of the season, with 25 points and 16 rebounds. She missed just two of her 12 field-goal attempts. Kathleen Doyle had a nice game with 15 points, a game-high six assists and four steals for Iowa (20-6, 8-5 Big Ten Conference).

Iowa's Megan Gustafson, shown during a game earlier this season, led all players in scoring and rebounds during Sunday's win at Northwestern.

"I thought Kathleen did a good job leading us today," Bluder said. "I liked her game — her defensive effort was outstanding, especially guarding (Northwestern's) Lindsey Pulliam, who has been very, very good."

Pulliam, the Wildcats' leading scorer at 14.8 points per game, tallied just 11 Saturday as Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah led NU (9-17, 2-10) with 17 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals. 

The Hawkeyes held Northwestern to just 38 percent shooting from the floor and 9 percent shooting (1 of 11) from 3-point range. 

This is the ninth time in the last 11 seasons that Iowa has reached the 20-win mark. The team will next take the court this coming weekend for a 2 p.m. Sunday matchup with Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.