Megan Gustafson scored 24 points and grabbed 19 rebounds, and second-seeded Iowa pulled away for a 68-52 win over seventh-seeded Missouri in the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Sunday afternoon in Iowa City, Iowa.
Makenzie Meyer finished with 18 points for Iowa (28-6), which advanced to the Sweet 16 for the seventh time in school history. The Hawkeyes, who are two wins away from their first Final Four appearance since 1993, next will face the winner of Sunday evening’s game between third-seeded North Carolina State and sixth-seeded Kentucky.
Gustafson also secured her place as the top rebounder in Big Ten history. She needed three rebounds to match all-time leader Jantel Lavender, who had 1,422 rebounds from 2008-11 for Ohio State, and she easily blew past that milestone in the first half.
Amber Smith scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead Missouri (24-11). The Tigers finished the season with the most victories since the 1983-84 campaign, when they won 25 games.
A hard-fought game gave way to a lopsided lead in the final minutes. Iowa outscored Missouri 21-11 in the fourth quarter.
The Hawkeyes entered the fourth quarter with a 47-41 advantage. Hannah Stewart made a layup in the final minute of the third quarter to increase the lead to six points for Iowa, which ended the period on an 8-2 run after Missouri evened the score at 39.
Iowa built a 33-29 lead at halftime after posting a 17-9 advantage during the second quarter.
The Hawkeyes turned a seven-point deficit into a four-point lead by finishing the half on a 15-4 run. Meyer accounted for seven points during the run with a layup, a 3-pointer and two free throws. Gustafson scored six on a jumper and two layups.
Missouri led 20-16 at the end of the first quarter. The Tigers closed the period with five straight points thanks to a layup by Cierra Porter with 29 seconds to go, followed by a 3-pointer by Jordan Roundtree as time expired.
After falling behind 12-6 to start the game, Iowa regrouped with a 10-3 run to grab a one-point lead. Meyer drained a 3-pointer and Gustafson added a layup to cap off the run.
—Field Level Media
—Field Level Media