Iowa City, IA – Nationally ranked for the first time in two years, the Iowa women’s basketball team had their first test in the national spotlight on Sunday when they visited Northern Iowa.
The Hawkeyes (11–1) passed with flying colors, soundly defeating the Panthers, 71–47 at the McLeod Center. Northern Iowa (3–7) is off to a slow start to the season, but was an NCAA tournament team last season, and consistently has fans show up to the McLeod Center.
Iowa, ranked 25th in the latest AP Poll, has just one loss on the season – a one-point loss to top-15 Florida State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. All-American candidate Megan Gustafson continued her stellar junior campaign against the Panthers, dropping in 26 points and collecting 10 rebounds. She had recorded a double-double in all but one contest in 2017.
Only one other Hawkeye, Alexis Sevillian, recorded double digits in points, as ten different Hawkeyes got on the scoresheet. Chase Coley chipped in 8 points and 7 rebounds, with Kathleen Doyle adding six assists.
The Hawkeyes defense smothered the Panthers, who shot just 28.6% from the field and 26.7% from three-point range. Northern Iowa also committed 15 turnovers – as did the Hawkeyes, who continue to struggle with ball control the season.
Hawkeyes point guard Tania Davis only played ten minutes after leaving with an injury. She tore her ACL last season and missed most of conference play, and had been a key contributor to Iowa’s hot start. She did return to the bench in the second half on crutches but did not see any more action.
The women’s basketball team is off to their best start in years and has been the most consistent winter sport at the University to start the winter sports season. They are back in action on Thursday at home against Drake, looking to finish the year 3–0 against in-state rivals.