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The Breakdown: Hawkeye Women Down Iowa State in Thrilling Fashion

December 5, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – Sometimes you can win with a heroic effort. Other times, you need more than that.

Iowa fell into the latter category Wednesday night against Iowa State here at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Luckily for the Hawkeyes, they received a storybook night from a pair of previously injured players.

Guards Tania Davis and Kathleen Doyle rose to the occasion when they were needed most. Doyle played her first game this season after breaking her left hand. She scored a game-high 22 points in 28:43 minutes, an effort that on most nights would own the headlines.

Davis shoved her way into the spotlight by hitting the game-winning three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left. Iowa State freshman Ashley Jones, an Iowa City High graduate, missed what would have been a game-tying trey at the buzzer.

Davis sat out most of last season after suffering her second knee surgery in college. The senior from Flint (MI) Goodrich has returned this season with gusto, averaging 12.0 points and 4.3 assists. She played 37:44 Wednesday.

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“It means a lot. Just thinking about everything that I’ve had to go through, all the pain, all the struggles, the long hours of rehab, working on myself before I can get back into working as a team, and seeing it pay off thus far this season is truly amazing,” Davis said.

Said Hawkeye coach Lisa Bluder: “I told Tania that that’s a shot she’s going to remember for the rest of her life. I’m so happy for her. What’s she’s been through for her to have the opportunity to have a game-winner in her senior year, especially against Iowa State, it’s pretty awesome.”

Iowa (5-2) needed the efforts from Davis and Doyle. The Cyclones (6-1) played a collapsing defense on star center Megan Gustafson, who managed just seven field-goal attempts. She did make four of them and finished with 13 points and 16 boards. She broke the school’s career rebounding record with Wednesday’s performance.

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It was unfortunate somebody had to lose this game. It was tied 12 times and saw 10 lead changes.

“It was a great game,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “Great game for the sport. Great game for the state.”

Bridget Carleton led the way for the Cyclones with 21 points. Alexa Middleton added 20 in the losing effort.

One of the deciding factors in this one was free throw shooting. The Hawkeyes sank all 15 of their attempts. Iowa State finished 9 of 17 from the line.

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Iowa also enjoyed a 45-37 edge in rebounding and its bench outscored the visitors 22-11 thanks to Doyle.

With the Cyclones doubling Gustafson, power forward Hannah Stewart took advantage of her open looks. She connected on 7 of 12 field goals and scored 14 points. She also pulled down eight rebounds.

Joens struggled in her return home. She missed nine of 10 field-goal tries, including all six from behind the three-point arc.

Makenzie Meyer led the Hawkeyes with five assists. She added eight points and four rebounds in a winning cause.

Iowa returns to action on Saturday when it plays host to IUPUI.

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