Hawkeyes overcome slow start to stop Charlotte

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Iowa women’s basketball team is off to its best start since 2010, even after overcoming a slow start on Thursday.

The Hawkeyes fell behind by as many as 12 points in the first quarter before beating Charlotte 77-64 in their Thanksgiving day pairing in the second round of the Puerto Rico Challenge.

Iowa outscored the 49ers 23-8 in the second period to put a 12-point deficit behind it, and the Hawkeyes won both quarters of the second half to improve to 6-0 this season.

It’s the best start for the Hawkeyes since a 7-0 run to open the 2010 campaign.

“It wasn’t the prettiest game,” said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder. “That is two games in a row we have come out with a slow start. Today was not being able to knock down threes in the first quarter.”

The Hawkeyes were 0-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc in the opening stanza but went 8-for-16 the rest of the way to beat Charlotte and head coach Cara Consuegra, a former Iowa women’s basketball player. Consuegra’s 49ers (2-3) fell to 0-3 against Big Ten Conference teams with Thursday’s defeat.

Megan Gustafson had her sixth double-double in as many games to lead the Hawkeyes with 23 points and 14 rebounds. Makenzie Meyer finished with 17 points and a game-high seven assists, while Tania Davis added 11 points and five assists.

Laia Raventós led Charlotte with 18 points, five assists and three steals.

The Hawkeyes have a day off to enjoy the Florida sun before facing Elon at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Phoenix (4-0) face Alabama today.

“Elon is the most difficult opponent we will have faced since Western Michigan, so we will have our work cut out for us,” said Bluder. “We will get to watch that game, so it will be nice to have a live scout on them.”

IOWA 77, CHARLOTTE 64

At Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

CHARLOTTE (2-3) — Jamison-Myers 3-8 1-10 7, Pearson 1-3 0-0 2, Ransom 5-11 0-0 12, Raventos 6-14 5-9 18, Wilson 5-11 0-0 13, Robinson 1-4 3-4 5, Harley 0-2 0-0 0, Linney 3-9 0-1 7. TOTALS 24-62 9-24 64.

IOWA (6-0) — Coley 2-5 0-0 4, Gustafson 11-16 1-3 23, Davis 4-9 0-0 11, Meyer 6-11 2-2 17, Sevillian 2-7 2-2 7, Mohns 1-2 0-0 2, Ollinger 1-2 0-0 3, Stewart 2-8 0-0 4, Valino Ramos 0-0 0-0 0, Doyle 3-8 0-2 6, Sanders 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 32-68 5-9 77.

Charlotte 24 8 17 15 — 64

Iowa 12 23 21 21 — 77

3-Point Goals–Charlotte 7-14 (Ransom 2-4, Raventos 1-2, Wilson 3-6, Linney 1-2), Iowa 8-22 (Davis 3-5, Meyer 3-8, Sevillian 1-5, Ollinger 1-2, Doyle 0-2). Assists–Charlotte 12 (Raventos 5), Iowa 26 (Meyer 7). Fouled Out–None. Rebounds–Charlotte 39 (Ransom 10), Iowa 45 (Gustafson 14). Total Fouls–Charlotte 15, Iowa 19. A–172.