Iowa Women Blowout UMass 71–30, Advance to Hawkeye Challenge Championship

Iowa City, Iowa — The Hawkeye women’s basketball team led wire-to-wire, dominating the overmatched Massachusetts Minutewomen en route to a 71–30 win.

The Hawkeye defense was swarming, limiting UMass to just 19 percent (11–57) shooting from the floor. Hailey Leidel and Ryan Holder, Massachusett’s two leading scorers combined for 33.5 points per game coming into Saturday’s contest, were held to just two points against the Hawkeyes on 1–22 shooting.

“We had them identified, and I think they got frustrated,” Hawkeye head coach Lisa Bluder said of the team’s gameplan against Leidel and Holder. “I think they’re used to getting to the rim a little bit better, and I think we did a really good job of switching on screens and keeping them in front of us. They were taking really hard shots; they were taking shots with a hand in their face, and jump shots from 15 feet, and those are not really high percentage shots.”

Iowa also forced the Minutewomen to commit 20 turnovers while limiting them to just two assists. By allowing just 10 points in the first half, the Hawkeye women set a new program best for fewest points allowed in a half.

Senior Alexa Kastanek led the Hawkeyes offensively, scoring 17 points in as many minutes off the bench. Kastanek exploited UMass’s zone, hitting on 5–10 shots from behind the arc.

“Every shooter loves to see a zone because you don’t have that hand in your face constantly,” said Kastanek. “You don’t have to come off screens to get the three. Just knowing that my teammates could get me open and get me the shots that I love to knock down was really nice.”

Sophomore Megan Gustafson continued her productive year, scoring 13 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

“My teammates did a great job of looking inside, especially when we reversed the ball,” Gustafson said. “We had a pretty good inside-out game. If I got the ball inside and they doubled, or if I got the ball and the zone collapsed, I was able to look outside.”

Senior Ally Disterhoft stuffed the stat sheet, recording 10 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Iowa’s ball movement was impressive against the 2–3 zone, as the Hawkeyes recorded 24 assists on 29 made field goals.

With the win, the Hawkeye women improve to 4–0 on the year. Iowa will look to remain perfect Sunday at 2:00pm in the championship of the Hawkeye Challenge against the winner of Montana/South Dakota State.

By Jack Brandsgard — Posted 11/19/16

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