It seemed like Makenzie Meyer was always there for big shots for the Iowa Women’s Basketball team.
And even if she was struggling to score, she was always right beside Kathleen Doyle as the senior leaders of the Hawkeye squad. A starter for nearly all of her four year career in the black and gold, Meyer was of the program’s most battled tested players by her senior season, making the postseason in some fashion every season. As the program rebuilt in 2016-17, Meyer and Doyle’s freshman season, the duo, along with Megan Gustafson, scraped by and made a run to the Women’s NIT, falling to Washington State at home in the quarterfinals.
It was evident as her freshman season went that Meyer would become a pivotal part of the team, and that she did. She averaged 6 points and nearly 2 rebounds and assists per game. Those numbers improved her sophomore season to 10 points and 4 assists per game, as the team made its return to the NCAA Tournament, but saw an early exit in its first game.
Meyer’s numbers dipped a little bit in her junior year, going down almost a point to 8.7, but her assist numbers stayed the same at four. I think we can safely say that dip in production might have had something to do with the absolute dominance of Megan Gustafson, but it also resulted in the program winning the Big Ten Tournament and making a deep run in the NCAA Tournament to the Elite Eight.
By the time Meyer’s senior season came around, she, along with Doyle, had seen it all and were ready to lead the team. And that’s exactly what they did. Despite losing the most prolific player in program history, Meyer’s scoring production jumped to the best of her career, averaging 14.4 points per game, 4 assists, and 3.7 rebounds, all career bests, and good enough for top 10 in scoring in the Big Ten. While Doyle was the versatile player, Meyer was the confident sharp shooting guard, particularly from down low, hitting 41% of her shots, good enough for fourth best overall in the conference. She was also ultra reliable at the charity stripe, averaging 83%, which led the conference.
When Meyer struggled and couldn’t hit a basket, the team struggled as well, and vice versa. Her two best games of the year came against Minnesota and Purdue, both wins, in which she scored 24 and 22 points, respectively, which were both career bests at the time. Her experience and diligence paid off too, as she was recognized with Big Ten honors as a way to proof it.
Meyer was an important cog to the team, and her poor shooting performances in the last two games of the season (and what turned out to be her career) were an unfortunate way to see a long career end. Regardless, Meyer joins the list of strong guards that leaves Lisa Bluder’s program, and undoubtedly was indispensable in ensuring the program’s success during her four year career.
Thank you, Makenzie!