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State champs

Hawk Talk
Hawkeye Megan Gustafson battles a Drake player for a loose ball during Iowa’s 79-66 win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City Dec. 21. The junior forward had 27 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots. (Photos by Don Lund)

The Iowa women beat Drake, 79-66, last Thursday at Carver, making them the mythical state champs with wins over Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa.
What a difference a year makes.
Last season, the Drake Bulldogs went 29-5, 18-0 in the conference. They beat the Hawkeyes 81-76 in Des Moines. Iowa had two players in double-figures, led by Ally Disterhoft with 24, and Megan Gustafson with 20.
The Hawks only made 3-11 from 3-point range. Drake had four players in double figures and finished 8-19 from behind the arc.
Last Thursday at Carver, Iowa was 11-22 (50 percent) from 3-point range, Drake (8-39).
That’s a lot of 3-point shots.
The Hawks played a lot of zone and Iowa’s length was important, coming up with 10 blocked shots and seven steals.
Megan Gustafson had her usual 27 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.
I don’t think you can appreciate how hard Megan has to work to have double-doubles in all but one game this year.
Megan scored seven points in the first quarter but shot only twice, made both and was 3-4 from the free throw line.
Megan has a couple of things working for her.
First of all, she is strong and relentless.
Megan will miss her first shot, battle for the rebound and make the second.
Also, Iowa is a great passing team, as Makenzie Meyer and Kathleen Doyle combined for 13 assists.
Amanda Ollinger came off the bench and dished out six assists.
Finally, if the opponent plays zone and double-teams Megan, the Hawks make them pay with Makenzie, Kathleen and Alexis Sevillian hitting threes.
Makenzie was 5-10, Kathleen 2-3, Alexis 4-8.
“I thought we did a very good job defensively,” said Head Coach Lisa Bluder. “This is a team that averages 85 points a game. We held them 20 points below their average. Our defense was there except for boxing out.”
Makenzie tied a career high with 21 points.
“Makenzie really got us going, especially early in the game,” said the coach. “Our first half, I thought was very good.”
Going into the Big Ten schedule 12-1 is a great start.