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Former Mohawk Makenzie Meyer chips in 7 points to help Iowa route Hampton

IOWA CITY – Former Mason City Mohawk standout basketball player Makenzie Meyer chipped in 7 points Sunday to help the Iowa Hawkeyes route Hampton University, 84-51.

Meyer ended the game with 7 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and just one turnover in 21 minutes of game action.

Iowa led 44-32 at halftime. Hampton at one point led by 5 points, but by late in the second half Iowa had surged to a 33 point lead.

Four Hawkeyes reached double digits in scoring. They include: Ally Disterhoft (16), Megan Gustafson (14), Tania Davis (15), and Hannah Stewart (10)

Disterhoft has reached double figures in 80 of her 86 career starts.

Disterhoft now ranks ninth on Iowa’s all-time career scoring list (1,587). Her 16 points in today’s victory moved her past former Hawkeye Morgan Johnson (1,582).

Sophomore Megan Gustafson registered the 11th double-double of her career (14 points, 11 boards). She has recorded a double-double in 11 of her last 15 games dating back to last season.

Stewart’s 10 points marked a new career high.

Iowa will hit the road to face North Dakota Wednesday for a 7:30 PM contest.

Lisa Bluder
Lisa Bluder
INTERVIEW: Lisa Bluder, Chase Coley, Megan Gustafson,

COACH BLUDER: I thought another well rounded game by our team today. I thought our defensive intensity was very good, especially in the second half. We really challenged our team to not give up any threes in the second half because we felt we gave up too many in the first half. They responded by only giving up one in the entire second half.

Megan had a double-double again. I believe it’s her 11th double-double in the last 15 games. That’s an amazing number. Hannah Stewart had a career high 10 points tonight. Really happy to see her produce like that. But also 11 players basically in double figure minutes. I love that our bench outscored their bench 32-10. I love the depth of this basketball team. I think we’re really showcasing that right now.

Q. Coach, Hannah isn’t one of your players up here, but can you talk a little bit more about the performance and how impressive that was.
COACH BLUDER: Yeah, I think Hannah has really enjoyed moving to the five position. I think she’s embraced that, and she’s taking good shots. She’s playing physical. I think she’s really having fun, and enjoying that.

Q. Coach, it seemed like Chase really played that Energizer Bunny role today. In her first eight minutes, it was 7 points, 7 boards. Could you talk about that. And then Chase, you as well?
COACH BLUDER: Chase — you have to know Chase a little bit. Chase is one of our goofier players on our team, and I mean that in a loving way. Seriously, she always brings a lot of energy to our team. She’s the fun one. She’s the best dancer, just ask her. I’m sure she’ll let you know that.

CHASE COLEY: Yeah, I am.

I don’t know. I feel like I have a different role this year, and one thing coming in with that second group, I feel like my job out there is to make sure I keep the energy rolling from the first group into the second group. I feel like, when one person gets a little energy, it sparks it for the rest of the team, and that’s really my goal out on the court right now.

Q. Coach, these first two games for Megan, is this what you expected out of her these first couple?
COACH BLUDER: Megan had an amazing freshman year. We all know that. And she’s just gotten better. So we’ve been able to see that over the course of the summer. So we expected great things out of Megan. Certainly, she started the season that way.

Are there ups and downs in every season? Yeah, it’s a long season. I don’t want to put pressure on her that she has to keep doing these kinds of things, but it would be nice if she would.

Q. With that, Megan, you said on Friday you worked on footwork and strength in the off-season. Are you really seeing that? Is it back up what you thought Friday after today?
MEGAN GUSTAFSON: Yeah, I think so. I think today we played against a couple of pretty good post players, a little bit stronger than what we played against on Friday. I think, yeah, working on the off-season, getting in the weight room.

Coach is working with me and the other post players on my footwork. Just being able to read instead of predetermining post moves, that’s been a huge thing for me from freshman year to now. So I think I’ve really been trying to work on that.

Q. Coach, do you feel you’re getting a good idea of how you want these rotations to be? The first couple games allow you to do that. What’s really standing out with some of the young players? We talked about how much time they’re going to see maybe this year.
COACH BLUDER: Whenever you have eight freshmen and sophomores — we have such a young team — you’re relying on them. If you want to have any success, they’ve got to produce for us. I think in the last couple games, we’ve been able to give them good playing experience and good confidence out on the floor. I think that’s been good for us.

Again, we’ll re-evaluate after watching the film and see if we want to continue with the platoon method, but we just don’t know at this point. We’ll figure it out.

Q. How many zone defenses can you run out there? I think I saw 1-3-1, 2-3, 3-2, and it usually all created a steal.
COACH BLUDER: We’ve got stuff up our sleeve, Matt. We got stuff up our sleeve that we’re not going to spread the news about.

Q. Obviously, the threes weren’t falling for Hampton nearly as much in the second half. But early on, are you thinking this is just how they play? Is this the best three-point shooting team you’re going to face all season, and how do you counter that?
COACH BLUDER: Obviously, we’re going to face better three-point shooters and shooting teams as the year goes on. So I was kind of concerned with that in the first half because they were 6 for 12 the first half in three-point shooting and that was a point we really needed to improve on. I felt we did improve on it. How much of it was us and how much was them? Again, the film tells that. So we’ll go back and check that out.

Q. I’m not going to lie, Chase, the one layup you had in the first half, it looked like you nearly were going to dunk it there. I don’t know if you realized how high you were up on there. Are you thinking dunk on that?
CHASE COLEY: I can’t really jump very well. So, no, I was not thinking dunk.

Q. I’ll show you video. It was pretty close. I thought, oh, man, is she going to go for this right now?
CHASE COLEY: Yeah, I should have tried.

Q. Coach, the next up is a midweek nonconference game, is that kind of rare? How did that come about?
COACH BLUDER: Our Big Ten Conference schedule went to 16 games, from 18 to 16. So basically, what that means is we have to get 13 nonconference games in between Friday night and Christmas. That’s a lot of basketball in a short amount of time. In fact, we’re playing eight games between last Friday night and December 1st. It’s a lot of basketball that we have to get in in a short amount of time. So it creates some midweek opportunities for us to play.

We’ll have a mandatory day off, according to NCAA rules, tomorrow and rest them and just have one-day prep, just like we did for this game, but the difference is now we’re going on the road. So they put up 91 points. They did lose to Drake 98-91 the other night, but that’s a lot of points. Again, playing on their field.

Then we’ll come back and have a couple of days to repair for our Hawkeye Challenge, but then that’s two games in two days. So zero prep in between. But that’s what the Big Ten Tournament is, hopefully, it prepares us for that.

Q. Coach, you talked a lot about this game, stopping Hampton defense on the three-point line in the second half, and for you guys three-point shooting hasn’t been necessarily your strong suit this year. So coming in the future part of the season, is that something you’re somewhat concerned about, like if you play some Big Ten teams who scout you?
COACH BLUDER: I believe we really haven’t shown that we’re a good three-point shooting team yet, but we are. I’ve seen it in practice. I have tremendous belief in our three-point shooters. So I know they’re going to come through.

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