First quarter propels Hawkeye women to first-round triumph

INDIANAPOLIS — The Iowa women’s basketball team started off its Big 10 Tournament run strong on Thursday with a 55-45 win over Northwestern in the second round.

The Hawkeyes (24-6) started off the game on an incredible 22-1 run in the first quarter, as the Wildcats (12-20) shot a dismal 0-for-15 in the opening frame.

Northwestern wasn’t going down that easily, however, as they stormed back to close the gap to just 31-20 by halftime after outscoring Iowa 19-9 in the second quarter. The Wildcats pulled within five at one point in the fourth quarter, but Iowa was able to hold off the comeback and walk into the quarterfinals.

Makenzie Meyer led the Hawkeyes with 13 points in the win, followed by a near-double-double of 12 points and nine rebounds by Megan Gustafson. Gustafson also had four blocks, while Alexis Sevillian and Kathleen Doyle each finished with nine points for Iowa.

Northwestern was led by Lindsey Pulliam with a game-high 17 points, 10 of which came during the fourth quarter, while Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah had 17 rebounds for the Wildcats.

The Hawkeyes move on to the quarterfinals where they will meet up with Minnesota at approximately 1:30 p.m. today.

Big Ten Conference Tournament

At Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis

Second Round

Thursday, March 1

Rutgers 62, Purdue 60

Iowa 55, Northwestern 45

Indiana 111, Michigan St. 109, 4OT

Michigan 77, Penn State 48

Quarterfinals

Friday, March 2

Ohio State vs. Rutgers, 11 a.m.

Minnesota vs. Iowa, 1:25 p.m. (BTN2GO)

Maryland vs. Indiana, 5:30 p.m.

Nebraska vs. Michigan, 7:55 p.m.

IOWA 55, NORTHWESTERN 45

At Indianapolis

NORTHWESTERN (12-20) — Hopkins 1-9 2-4 4, Kunaiyi-Akpanah 2-10 2-4 6, Scheid 2-6 2-2 7, Hamilton 4-15 0-0 9, Pulliam 7-18 3-5 17, Wolf 1-2 0-0 2, Hamilton 0-0 0-0 0, Galernik 0-2 0-0 0, Pikiell 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 17-62 9-15 45.

IOWA (24-6) — Coley 2-7 0-0 4, Gustafson 4-8 4-6 12, Doyle 4-11 0-0 9, Meyer 5-10 0-0 13, Sevillian 2-6 3-4 9, Ollinger 0-0 0-0 0, Stewart 4-7 0-0 8, Sanders 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 21-49 7-10 55.

N’western 1 19 9 16 — 45

Iowa 22 9 10 14 — 55

3-Point Goals–Northwestern 2-10 (Hopkins 0-1, Scheid 1-2, Hamilton 1-6, Galernik 0-1), Iowa 6-15 (Doyle 1-4, Meyer 3-8, Sevillian 2-3). Assists–Northwestern 8 (Hamilton 5), Iowa 18 (Doyle 7). Fouled Out–Kunaiyi-Akpanah, Rebounds–Northwestern 39 (Kunaiyi-Akpanah 17), Iowa 32 (Gustafson 9). Total Fouls–Northwestern 14, Iowa 14. A–3,565.