One night after the Iowa men dispatched a team from a neighboring state in the NIT, the Iowa women did the same in the WNIT, knocking off Missouri State in an opening round game, 95-74. The Bears were no match for this Iowa team -- the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. They led 43-30 at the break and outscored Missouri State in every quarter (20-14, 23-16, 27-21, 25-23), which is a pretty good recipe for a win. Iowa crushed the Bears on the break (21-2 edge in fast break points) and in the paint (50-28). Iowa lost the turnover battle (14-12 and a 17-14 edge in points off turnovers for Missouri State) and the offensive rebounding battle (18-6, leading to a 13-8 edge in second chance points for Missouri State), but that didn't matter when they shot the ball as well as they did. Iowa shot 50% or better in every quarter and 38/61 (62.3%) for the game; Missouri State shot just 30/77 (39%) for the game, with the tone set by a wretched first quarter (6/27, 22.2%). Iowa just got buckets all night long and Missouri State didn't.
Iowa had five players in double figures, including four starters. Makenzie Meyer had 14 points on 5/10 shooting (4/6 from deep) and three assists. Kathleen Doyle had 18 points on 7/10 shooting to go with six assists, three rebounds, and three steals. Hannah Stewart had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench to give Iowa a boost. And Megan Gustafson produced yet another double double (14 points on 6/8 shooting and 10 rebounds) on her way to setting a bit of Iowa history:
But the star of the show -- and a fellow record-breaker -- was Ally Disterhoft. Iowa's star senior entered the game 20 points shy of becoming the all-time leading scorer in the history of the Iowa program -- and she got 21 points on 9/16 shooting (along with four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks), getting the record-sealing points on a late layup to pass Cindy Haguejorde.
There is a new all-time leading scorer in Hawkeye basketball history. Ally Disterhoft sits at 2,061 pts and counting https://t.co/joNnc1nW1O— Iowa Women's BBall (@IowaWBB) March 17, 2017
History: made. Record: broken. Congrats, Ally!
What an unbelievable journey for the local girl who grew up from idolizing the players in the program -- and being immortalized as a 9-year old on a poster -- to becoming one of Iowa's all-time greats.
Catch the highlights of the win here:
Great team win! The Hawks take down Missouri State 95-74 in the 1st round of the WNIT! Catch all the highlights here https://t.co/Nxe73yLZ9v— Iowa Women's BBall (@IowaWBB) March 17, 2017
But records aside, this is still tournament time and Iowa's win means that they advance to the next round, where they'll play South Dakota, the defending WNIT champions. South Dakota went 23-8 this season, and 11-5 in the Summit League, good for 4th place behind Western Illinois, South Dakota State, and IUPUI. Hopefully Iowa's offense stays hot for that game because they may need it to keep pace with South Dakota -- USD averaged 73.3 ppg this season and were 11th in the NCAA in FG percentage (47%), 12th in 3-point FG percentage (38%), and first in FT percentage (82%).
NEXT: Iowa will host South Dakota in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the next round of the WNIT (Saturday, 3 PM CT, BTN Plus).