Iowa guard Alexis Sevillian dribbles during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Women’s hoops takes care of Western Michigan

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Iowa continues to run through its nonconference slate despite missing one of its starters.

By Jordan Zuniga

Jordan-zuniga@uiowa.edu

When Kathleen Doyle had to be helped off the floor in the fourth quarter of the Hawkeye women’s basketball team’s second game, some might have worried about how the Hawkeyes would fare without their sophomore starting guard.

After beating up on Northern Illinois and then dismantling Western Michigan, 79-56, on Nov. 19, it’s clear that Iowa is just fine.

A big reason for that has been the play Doyle’s replacement, redshirt freshman Alexis Sevillian. Unlike most backups called upon to replace a touted starter, Sevillian has played a major role in Doyle’s absence.

She made her presence felt early. In the game in which Doyle went down, Sevillian snared a crucial steal at the end of regulation.

Then, in her first start in Doyle’s place, she put up a career high 15 points and grabbed 4 boards.

In the Nov. 19 contest against Western Michigan, the 5-5 guard was at it again, setting a career high in points with 19.

RELATED: Women’s hoops open big week against Western Michigan

“It was good to be able to start,” Sevillian said. “We just hit what we got. Teammates found us for open shots, and we did a great job of knocking them down.”

Iowa may have ended up with 79 points, but it struggled to get the ball in the net early, starting 1-of-7 from the field.

But Sevillian shot the Hawkeyes out of their early slump, nailing three baskets in a row. She ended up accumulating 10 of her points in the first quarter.

If the first quarter belonged to Sevillian, the second belonged to fellow guard Makenzie Meyer, who set career highs in points ( 21) and 3-pointers (5). She scored 16 of her points, and hit four of her 3-pointers, in the second quarter.

“We just played really unselfish basketball today,” Meyer said, echoing Sevillian. “We’re just sharing the ball really well, and when I got the open look, I took the shot.”

Assists has been a major part of the Hawkeyes’ game, and they average 24.2 assists per game. The Western Michigan game was no different.

Iowa racked up 24 of them, with the three starting guards leading the way. Mayer and Tania Davis each had 4, and Sevillian dished out a team-leading and career-high 6.

Along with the solid guard play, the ever-reliable double-double machine Megan Gustafson had yet another solid game.

With her 15 points and 13 rebounds, Gustafson recorded her fourth double-double of the season and 31st of her career.

“[Gustafson] makes my life a lot easier,” head coach Lisa Bluder said. “She really is amazing; the way she can rebound is simply amazing. She’s a force in there, and I’m just glad she’s on our team.”

Gustafson will try to continue her double-double streak in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as the Hawkeyes take part in the 2017 Puerto Rico Classic.

At the Puerto Rico Classic — moved to Florida because of hurricane damage — Iowa will take on Morgan State, Charlotte, and Elon.

The first game will be Nov. 22 at 12:30 p.m., the second Nov. 23 at 11 a.m., and the third Nov. 25 at 4 p.m.

Click below for more photos

Players get ready for introductions during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa center Megan Gustafson gets ready for the tipoff during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Alexis Sevillian jogs backwards during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Alexis Sevillian takes a shot over Western Michigan guard Deja Wimbly during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Hannah Stewart and Tania Davis watch on during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Hannah Stewart looks to pass to a teammate after grabbing an offensive rebound during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Tania Davis calls to teammates during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Western Michigan head coach Shane Clipfell talks to players into a timeout during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Makenzie Meyer covers Western Michigan during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Amanda Ollinger hooks a shot up towards the rim during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Makenzie Meyer drives to the hoop during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Tania Davis gets fouled during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Western Michigan forward Jasmyn Walker dives for a jump ball during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa's Tania Davis, Alexis Sellivan, Amanda Ollinger, and Megan Gustafson fight for a jump ball during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder watches play during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa center Megan Gustafson fights for an offensive rebound away from Western Michigan defenders during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa center Megan Gustafson looks to the bench during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Alexis Sellivan dribbles during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa forward Paula Vaino Ramos shoots a free throw during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa guard Zion Sanders attempts a shot during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa center Megan Gustafson shoots over Western Michigan during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Herky the Hawk dumps fists with a fan during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Iowa center Megan Gustafson and Carly Mohns high-five during the Iowa/Western Michigan women's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. The Hawkeyes defeated the Broncos, 79-56. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

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