INDIANAPOLIS — To reach the semifinals of the Big Ten women’s basketball tournament for the first time since 2015, Iowa made it a clean sweep Friday.
A 70-61 victory over Indiana in the quarterfinals gives the 10th-ranked Hawkeyes at least one win over every team in the Big Ten this season, including the Rutgers team Iowa faces in today’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"It feels great to get that accomplished," Iowa senior Tania Davis said. "It’s just one step, but we’re so happy right now. It was a hard-fought game."
Big Ten player of the year Megan Gustafson was her usual self, scoring 30 points, grabbing 17 rebounds, blocking four shots and dishing out four assists while dealing with double- and triple-teams that were unable to prevent the senior from recording her 28th double-double of the season.
Gustafson broke her own school single-season scoring record along the way, collecting her 824th point of the season on a putback in the fourth quarter as Iowa worked to fight off Indiana.
The Hoosiers led for fewer than two minutes in the game, with a pair of baskets by Gustafson erasing a 43-42 Indiana lead in the final two minutes of the third quarter.
A pair of free throws by Ali Patberg with 5 minutes, 20 seconds left in the game pushed Indiana back in front 54-53, but the lead didn’t last long.
Tania Davis took a feed from Gustafson and buried a 3-point basket from the top of the lane with 4:11 remaining, putting Iowa on top to stay.
"The key to stopping them starts with how you’re going to guard Megan, and we were trying to clog it up in the middle as much as we could," Indiana coach Teri Moren said. "The risk is not getting out to the shooters, and when she stuck that 3 on us and it does deflate you a little bit."
After a turnover by the Hoosiers’ Bendu Yeaney on the ensuing possession, Kathleen Doyle ended an 0-for-7 start from the field by knocking down a shot from the left of the key to give Iowa a 58-54 advantage.
A 3-pointer by Doyle only added to Indiana’s issues, preventing the Hoosiers from coming any closer than four points the rest of the way.
"Tania’s 3 was big for us, and Kathleen really came through in the fourth quarter," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "This time of year, that’s what it takes, a little something from everybody."
It all added up to send second-seeded Iowa into the semifinal match-up with the third-seeded Scarlet Knights, who moved to 22-8 with a 64-49 win over the Boilermakers.
Top-seeded Maryland and fourth-seeded Michigan advanced to the other semifinal.
The Hawkeyes (24-6) used a strong start and a stronger finish to earn their semifinal opportunity.
Iowa shot just under 44 percent from 3-point range, a 7-of-16 effort led by a 4-for-9 game from behind the arc by Makenzie Meyer.
"After playing Indiana the first time we knew we were going to get open 3s, and Megan does such a great job of passing the ball out," Meyer said. "The in-and-out 3 was such a good look for us."
Hannah Stewart, who finished with nine points and 13 rebounds, collected the first two baskets in a 6-0 run by Iowa that opened the game.
The Hawkeyes maintained that margin after one quarter and at half, leading 33-27.
Turnovers — Iowa had 11 of its 13 in the game’s first 23 minutes — helped the Hoosiers (20-12) stay within striking distance.
"We took a lot better care of the ball in the second half, limited mistakes, and that was something we felt like we had to do," Bluder said. "We made shots, and eventually, we took better care of the ball and those things made a difference for us."
Patberg, a Notre Dame transfer, led Indiana with 25 points.
Rutgers 64, Purdue 49: Stasha Carey had 17 points and nine rebounds to help third-seeded Rutgers beat 11th-seeded Purdue 64-49 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament on Friday night.
The Scarlet Knights (22-8) opened the fourth quarter with a 14-1 run to pull away to a 59-42 lead with 4:24 left. The Boilermakers (19-15) scored five straight points to cut the deficit to 12 but did not get closer.
Arella Guirantes added 15 points and Victoria Harris grabbed 14 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights.
Maryland 71, Michigan St. 55: No. 8 Maryland has demonstrated its scoring prowess all season.
If the Terrapins keep playing defense the way they did Friday, there's no telling how far the Big Ten regular-season champs can go.
Kaila Charles scored 16 points in the second half, finished with 21 and helped her teammates allow only seven second-half baskets in a 71-55 victory over ninth-seeded Michigan State in the conference tournament quarterfinals.
Michigan 73, Wisconsin 65, 2OT: Hallie Thome scored 18 points, including Michigan's first six in the second overtime, and the Wolverines outlasted Wisconsin 73-65 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday.
Imani Lewis scored the first basket in the second extra period but those were the Badgers' only points with Thome scoring the next six and Naz Hillmon and Deja Church adding two free throws each.
Lewis made 1 of 2 free throws with 3.7 seconds left in the first overtime to tie at 63. Lewis' layup with 23 seconds left in regulation sent the game into OT tied at 58.
— Associated Press