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Bluder’s Bunch advances to the WNIT Elite Eight

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa women’s basketball team finds itself in the Elite Eight of the WNIT following 80-62 drubbing of Colorado in friendly Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Ally Disterhoft and Megan Gustafson and Makenzie Meyer all had solid outings against the Buffs, notching 15, 12 and 13 apiece, respectively, but it was senior Alexa Kastanek, who’s 19 points off the bench in just 23 minutes of playing time that stole the show for the Hawkeyes. Kastanek shot 5-9 from three, and helped surge Iowa to the next round.

The Hawkeyes stormed out of the gates and made four straight field goals to build an early 14-6 lead in the first quarter. Kastanek went 3-3 from range in the first quarter, and used that momentum throughout the contest. Overall, Iowa shot just under 50 percent from the floor, and used hot-handedness all-around to find a 48-29 lead at halftime.

Gustafson led the defensive end with a block and 6 defensive boards to go with 2 others on the offensive end. It wasn’t the same 33-point, 13-rebound game she had against South Dakota last week, but it was still something. Freshman Kathleen Doyle just missed out on double-digit scoring with 9 points, but she had 3 steals and 2 assists to boot.

Iowa earned the right to play another home game following the win. The Hawkeyes get Washington State at 2 PM on Sunday. A win there would give Lisa Bluder her 700th overall as a head coach.