By Sean Bock
Trailing by 13 points in the third quarter, chances of a victory seemed dim for the Hawkeyes.
But with the help of two Kathleen Doyle 3s to trim the lead to 6 with 2:27 left and one to force the game into overtime, fate seemed to be on Iowa’s side.
Thanks to Doyle’s efforts, the Black and Gold stole a victory on the road at Rutgers, 77-67, to expand its winning streak to six.
“It was a great play by [Makenzie Meyer] to find me, and I knocked it down, we got a [defensive] stop and headed to overtime,” Doyle said in a release. “We are confident in ourselves when we get to an overtime situation.”
While Doyle’s late-game heroics were the difference, Megan Gustafson etched her name into the Iowa record books as she broke the women’s program season records for points and rebounds. The junior All-American candidate finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds — her 25th double-double of the year.
In addition to Gustafson, Chase Coley also had her way down low for the Hawkeyes.
The senior finished with 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the winning effort and hit a clutch jumper with 25.4 seconds left in the fourth to cut the Rutgers lead to 2.
The Hawkeyes held a comfortable 13-4 lead at the end of the first quarter but were outscored in the next period, 21-6, because of offensive struggles.
“The second quarter? We lost our composure,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said in a release. “We’re going to throw that one away; it’s probably our worst quarter of basketball. But I’ll take it with a fourth quarter and overtime like that.”
Once again, the defensive effort was the difference for Bluder’s Bunch.
The Scarlet Knights shot 30-of-73 from the field (41 percent) and an abysmal 2-of-15 (13.3 percent) from 3-point land.
Iowa was 6-of-14 from 3-point land and had four scorers in double figures to pace a valiant offensive effort.
Along with Gustafson and Coley, Doyle chipped in 14 points and dished out 9 assists, and Makenzie Meyer added 11 points and drained three 3-pointers.
Rutgers’ point guard Tyler Scaife gave the Hawkeyes problems all night long.
The redshirt senior scored a game-high 30 points and was the only Scarlet Knight in double figures.
With the win, the Hawkeyes improved to 22-6, 10-5 in Big Ten play, putting them in a tie for fourth in the conference with Minnesota.
As of Feb. 19, Iowa was a No. 8 seed in ESPN’s Bracketology and still has a chance to improve its rank come Big Ten Tournament time.
The Hawkeyes will close the regular season at 11 a.m. Saturday when Indiana comes to town for Senior Day. Coley and Carly Mohns are the two seniors to be celebrated.
“I want to have a great crowd and a great Hawkeye victory, but we will need everybody to help us with this because [after playing 45 minutes Wednesday], we will have tired legs,” Bluder said in a release.