The WNIT run the Iowa women’s basketball team has been building stopped short Sunday afternoon, when the Hawkeyes drop the quarterfinal game to Washington State in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 74-66.
Made shots were few and far between for both squads, as the Hawkeyes and Cougars each shot below 40 percent from the floor. Washington showed off defensive poise early on, where the Hawkeyes had 11 straight possessions that failed to render points in the first quarter, making it 20-13 early on.
Iowa battled back in the second quarter to cut the lead to 34-31 at half. It was tough to build momentum for both teams however, as 50 fouls were called in the game. Iowa couldn’t capitalize at the charity stripe either, taking a page out of its male counterpart, hitting just 18-29 free throw attempts. Poor free throw shooting along with 16 turnovers made matters worse for Bluder’s Bunch.
The Hawkeyes had a chance late to win this one; Iowa was down just 4 with under two minutes to play, but Iowa chose to live and die by the three, and die it did, as the Hawkeyes missed all 13 of their 3-point attempts in the second half.
Megan Gustafson was the shining star for Iowa. Her 19 points and 15 rebounds led the way, even as Washington State placed greater emphasis on slowing her down. Senior Ally Disterhoft closed out her career strong, notching 16 points in her last game as a Hawkeye.
The Hawkeyes battled but came up short in the WNIT Elite Eight. Thank you to our seniors! https://t.co/iTBm53DoJa— Iowa Women's BBall (@IowaWBB) March 26, 2017
Kathleen Doyle was the only other Hawkeye to score in the double-figures, notching 11.
The future is bright for this Iowa team. Like the men, it’s a young squad. Three freshmen crack the starting lineup, and Ally Disterhoft and Alexa Kastanek were the only seniors that saw significant playing time. Tania Davis tore her ACL mid-season, and in doing so the Hawkeyes lost a starting guard.
So all in all, it might not have been best way to send off Disterhoft—who broke the Iowa scoring record this year—but there’s a foundation, and Lisa Bluder has a pretty good track record of getting her team to where it needs to be.
Thanks for the season, seniors. And we look forward to watching both our basketball teams grow next year.