SPORTS SHORTS: No. 23 Iowa women beat Michigan

IOWA CITY — Megan Gustafson had 27 points and 11 rebounds for her NCAA-leading 14th double-double, sophomore Kathleen Doyle set career-highs with 23 points and nine assists, and the No. 23 Iowa women’s basketball team beat 21st-ranked Michigan 82-72 on Sunday.

Iowa (14-1, 2-0 Big Ten) is off to its best start since the 1995-96 season when the Hawkeyes opened at 20-1.

Michigan went on a 7-0 run to pull within 64-62 but Iowa answered with an 8-0 spurt, capped by Gustafson’s layup with 1:21 to go. The Hawkeyes’ lead didn’t dip below nine points the rest of the way.

Katelynn Flaherty led Michigan (12-3, 1-1) with four 3-pointers and 24 points.

Drake goes the distance against Loyola

DES MOINES — The Drake women’s basketball team led from wire-to-wire, starting the Missouri Valley Conference season with a pair of home wins after Sunday’s 72-46 rout of Loyola.

Becca Hittner scored 10 of her game-high 12 points in the second half, helping Drake (7-7, 2-0) break free from the Ramblers (2-11, 0-2) with a 24-7 third-quarter advantage. The Bulldogs led 29-23 at the half before shooting 9-for-15 from the field in the third period.

Sara Rhine added 10 points and six rebounds for Drake, which goes on the road next weekend for games Friday at Missouri State and Sunday at Southern Illinois.

Northern Iowa knocks out Valparaiso

CEDAR FALLS — Ellie Howell scored a season-high 21 points and the Northern Iowa women’s basketball team pulled away from a fourth-quarter surge by Valparaiso to beat the Crusaders in their first Missouri Valley Conference meeting, 77-56, on Sunday at the McLeod Center.

Valparaiso trailed by 12 entering the fourth period before fighting back to within seven, 53-46. A Kennedy Kirkpatrick 3-pointer and a layup by Howell helped the Panthers push back in an eventual 19-point triumph.

Nicole Kroeger chipped in 16 points off the bench for UNI (6-7, 2-0), while Megan Maahs recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Mikaela Morgan added 10 points.

Dani Franklin led Valparaiso (7-6, 0-2) with 18 points and eight rebounds.

The Panthers play on the road this weekend in MVC action, visiting Southern Illinois on Friday and Missouri State on Sunday.

Sooners stave off Iowa State women

AMES — Oklahoma ended the third quarter on an 8-0 surge and never trailed again, beating Iowa State 74-69 on Sunday in Big 12 Conference play.

Shaina Pellington led the Sooners (6-7, 1-1) with 23 points. She was one of four double-digit scorers for Oklahoma, which saw its lead dip to three on a Madison Wise 3-pointer with 25 seconds left. The Sooners got a pair of free throws from Maddie Manning to make it 74-69, and the Cyclones missed their ensuing 3-point attempt.

Bridget Carleton led Iowa State (7-6, 1-1) with 21 points, nine rebounds and seven steals, going 11-for-13 from the free-throw line but just 5-for-15 from the field. Wise added 15 points and Emily Durr made four 3-pointers for 12 points.

ISU travels to face No. 6 Baylor on Wednesday night.

Drake holds off Southern Illinois 70-67

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Reed Timmer scored 20 points and Drake held off a Southern Illinois rally for a 70-67 win Sunday in Missouri Valley Conference action.

Nick McGlynn added 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Drake (8-6, 2-0), which led by as much as 16 points in the first half but had to scramble as Southern Illinois rallied late in the second period to pull within two points with under a minute left.

The Salukis (9-6, 1-1) tightened the game with a four-minute, 10-2 burst to trail 67-62 with 1:28 remaining. Armon Fletcher, who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, missed two 3-pointers down the stretch, including the game’s final shot at the buzzer.

Braves push past Panthers in 2nd half

PEORIA, Ill. — Darrell Brown scored 24 points, Nate Kennell scored 14 and Donte Thomas grabbed 10 rebounds and Bradley used the second half to pull away from Northern Iowa 72-53 on Sunday.

The Panthers led 33-32 at halftime before Bradley (11-4, 1-1 Missouri Valley) exploded with 22-3 run to put the Braves ahead 61-45 with 7:49 to play.

Northern Iowa (8-6, 0-2) made just six field goals in the second half and finished 18-of-49 shooting (37 percent).

Isaiah Brown led Northern Iowa with 17 points and Spencer Haldeman scored 11.