Gustafson’s post presense lifts Hawkeyes past Illini

IOWA CITY — The Iowa women took to task Illinois and had no problem handing it a 78-58 defeat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday night. Megan Gustafson had 20 points and 15 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season.

Iowa (11-6, 2-2 Big Ten) jumped out to a 25-10 first-quarter lead while making sure the Illini (7-10, 2-2 Big Ten) never led in the game. But Illinois kept pace, down 15, and even got to within 11 heading into the fourth quarter.

“You look at it and you think, ’20 and 15,’ that’s amazing,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder. “Fifteen rebounds is an incredible number. Megan’s playing well for us, shooting the ball well, nothing fazes her. She just kind of keeps even, nothing’s too high, nothing’s too low, and she just competes hard all the time.”

Iowa went inside on Illinois and won the points in the paint game, grabbing 34 points inside to Illinois’ 28. With 45 rebounds, the Hawkeyes were able to put up 14 second-chance points on 14 offensive rebounds. Illinois had just 29 rebounds.

“We really attacked their zone and got the ball inside for good shots against it, and that’s something we didn’t do the first time we played them,” Bluder said. “So it was really nice to see the team make those adjustments and really go after it.”

Kathleen Doyle wasn’t far behind Gustafson in scoring, posting 18 points as a starter. Makenzie Meyer also added to the scoring effort with 12 points. Ally Disterhoft put up 14 more and posted seven rebounds behind Gustafson’s effort.

Next up for the Hawkeyes is against No. 3 Maryland at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game is set to tip on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Iowa 78, Illinois 58

Illinois (7-10, 2-2) — Wittinger 8-13 1-2 17, Beasley 6-14 0-2 12, Cattenhead 5-7 2-4 12, Andrews 3-4 0-0 8, Joens 2-7 2-2 7, Kirkpatrick 1-6 0-0 2, Holesinska 0-8 0-0 0, McConnell 0-0 0-0 0, Overcash 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 25-59 5-10 58.

Iowa (11-6, 2-2) — Gustafson 8-13 4-6 20, Doyle 6-15 4-7 18, Disterhoft 5-10 4-5 14, Meyer 4-5 0-0 12, Davis 2-6 3-3 7, Stewart 2-2 0-0 4, Ollinger 1-1 0-0 3, Buttenham 0-4 0-0 0, Cera 0-1 0-0 0, Coley 0-3 0-0 0, Kastanek 0-1 0-0 0, Mohns 0-0 0-0 0, Schneden 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 28-61 15-21 78.

Illinois 10 14 18 16 — 58

Iowa 25 14 14 25 — 78

3-Point Goals–Illinois 3-14 (Andrews 2-3, Joens 1-4, Holesinska 0-4, Kirkpatrick 0-3), Iowa 7-22 (Meyer 4-5, Doyle 2-4, Ollinger 1-1, Davis 0-4, Disterhoft 0-4, Buttenham 0-2, Cera 0-1, Kastanek 0-1). Assists–Illinois 6 (Beasley 2), Iowa 17 (Davis 4). Fouled Out–Cattenhead. Rebounds–Illinois 29 (Wittinger 7), Iowa 45 (Gustafson 15). Total Fouls–Illinois 23, Iowa 16. A–3,834.