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Physical Gustafson helps Iowa muscle out wins with force

Despite a slow start by the Hawkeyes, they were able to get a win over Robert Morris. Iowa took advantage of their strong post presence on the interior.

Brian Ray, hawkeyesports.com

IOWA CITY, IA – Coming off of an 85-73 road win over Virginia just four days ago, the Iowa Women’s Basketball team looked to clinch their ninth victory over Robert Morris University.

The Hawkeyes struggled early in the first quarter struggling to hold the Colonials surprisingly, consistent and agile offense. Iowa battled through their slow start to match the Robert Morris’s brisk expeditious pace. Iowa lead for a little over a minute total in the first half.

"I don’t feel like we panicked, but we’re gonna start chipping away at this. Percentages usually even out during the game," said Bluder of the Hawks early deficit.

The final score of the game, 69 to 50 with another ‘W’ in the column for Iowa. For the Hawkeyes, though, it was the post position that helped to clinch this win. Megan Gustafson, who is arguably the most physical player on Bluder’s roster, accounted for six total rebounds and 15 points.

"I think we relaxed in the second half, we were able to get some looks inside, and Chase and I got a few points," said Gustafson of the second half.

The only player to trump Gustafson’s 15 total points was Ally Disterhoft with 16.

Gustafson and Chase Coley switch in and out at post for the Hawks on a typical game day. Coley, known for pulling away from the basket and hitting the jumper, wasn’t as effective against Robert Morris today. Gustafson played a total of 23 minutes showcasing her height advantage over the Colonials.

Gustafson pulled a jump ball call that went in favor of Robert Morris, but the play was a perfect example of her physicality around the hoop. The 6-foot-3 standout freshman dove for a loose ball, unafraid to put her full effort into every play of the game.

Gustafson went 6 for 9 in the paint, again matching up with Disterhoft. Her ability to play on both sides of the ball was evident on Sunday as she batted down more than a few of the Colonials potential easy lay in shots.

The Hawkeyes will embrace another hard fought victory for now, but will prepare to face their in-state rival, Iowa State, on December 11 in Ames, Iowa.

Iowa native, Ally Disterhoft reflected on the importance of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawks Series game, but doesn’t doubt that the competitiveness of these Hawkeyes will falter in Ames – and Megan Gustafson was a perfect example of that logic.