Gustafson stands tall as No. 10 Iowa holds off Indiana 70-61

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Megan Gustafson scored 30 points and grabbed 17 rebounds Friday to help No. 10 Iowa pull away late for a 70-61 victory over Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.

The Hawkeyes (24-6), the Big Ten regular-season runners-up, have won nine of their last 10 and will make their first semifinal appearance since 2014 on Saturday.

Tenth-seeded Indiana (20-12) was led by Ali Patberg with 25 points. Grace Berger added 13 points of the bench for last year’s WNIT champions.

The 6-foot-3 Gustafson was simply too much for the smaller Hoosiers.

She produced the highest point total in the tournament’s first nine games by going 11 of 19 from the field and matched the fifth-highest single-game rebounding total in tourney history. Gustafson also contributed four steals and four blocks.

And when the two-time conference player of the year wasn’t padding her stat line, she was still making life difficult on the Hoosiers — especially late.

With Iowa down 54-53 and 4:11 to go, Gustafson’s presence helped Tania Davis get free for the go-ahead 3-pointer. Gustafson’s screen opened up Kathleen Doyle for another 3 on the next possession, and Gustafson capped the decisive 7-0 run with free throws at the 2:28 mark to give Iowa a 60-54 lead.

Indiana only got as close as four the rest of the way, and Gustafson sealed it by making five of six free throws in the final 32 seconds.


Indiana: The Hoosiers used last year’s NCAA Tournament snub as motivation to win the WNIT title. Could it happen again? Perhaps. Indiana came into the conference tourney squarely on the bubble but took Iowa to the wire after beating higher-seeded Minnesota on Thursday. Both games should help the Hoosiers with the selection committee.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes stayed in control most of the game but struggled to put away the scrappy Hoosiers until the closing minutes. It was not a good look for a team trying to make a case to move up at least one seed line. But they still have a chance to improve their standing as they pursue their first Big Ten Tournament crown since 2001.


Indiana: Brenna Wise had nine points and 10 rebounds. … Despite Gustafson’s big game, the Hoosiers were only outrebounded 39-32 and only outscored 28-18 in the paint. … Indiana committed seven turnovers but shot 36.5 percent from the field and was 6 of 18 on 3s.

Iowa: Gustafson drew nine fouls. … Makenzie Meyer scored all 12 of her points on 3s. … Hannah Stewart finished with nine points and 13 rebounds. … The Hawkeyes were 7 of 16 on 3s and 11 of 13 from the free-throw line.


Indiana: Will wait to see if it has done enough to make the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa: Faces either third-seeded Rutgers or Purdue in Saturday’s semifinals.