University of Iowa junior Megan Gustafson has been named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year as voted on by the media, the conference office announced on BTN’s Women’s Sports Report on Monday.
Gustafson was also named a unanimous first team All-Big Ten selection (coaches & media). Sophomore Kathleen Doyle earned second team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and honorable mention accolades from the media – the first All-Big Ten honor of her career. Junior Hannah Stewart was selected as Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award honoree.
Gustafson, a native of Port Wing, Wisconsin, is just the fifth Hawkeye in program history to be named Big Ten Player of the Year and the first to do so since 1998. She joins Michelle Edwards (1988), Franthea Price (1990), Toni Foster (1993), and Tangela Smith (1998). Gustafson is the only Hawkeye to earn the award as a junior.
“This means a lot,” Gustafson said. “I’ve put in so much work the past three years at Iowa, but at the end of the day I’ve had amazing support here. My teammates, my coaches, and the support staff have all been amazing. I’m just really excited to keep this going.
“It’s exciting to be able to be compared to the greats that have come here. It’s a dream come to play the sport that I love with the people I love. At the end of the day I just have to thank my teammates, my coaches, and my family.”
In 16 conference contests this season, Gustafson averaged 27.7 points (1st in B1G), 13.1 rebounds (2nd), and shot a Big Ten-best 64.7 percent from the field. Gustafson registered 20 or more points in 15 of Iowa’s 16 conference games and grabbed 10 or more rebounds 14 times.
Gustafson, a two-time All-Big Ten honoree, ended the regular season ranked in the top-5 nationally in eight statistical categories. She leads the nation in points per game (25.3), total points (734), and field goals made (285), and ranks second in field goal percentage (66.7) and double-doubles (26), third in rebounds (370), and fifth in rebounds per game (12.8) and defensive rebounds per game (9).
Gustafson has re-written the Iowa record books this season, breaking single-season records for points (734), rebounds (370), field goals made (285), free throws made (164), free throws attempted (204), and double-doubles (26). Gustafson also broke Iowa’s program record for double-doubles in a career (53).
Doyle earns the first All-Big Ten honor of her career after being named to the Big Ten freshman team last season. In 16 conference games, Doyle averaged 12.6 points, a Big Ten-best 7.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals.
The LaGrange Park, Illinois, native registered the first four double-doubles of her career in conference play. She recorded back-to-back double-doubles against Maryland and Illinois, before recording her third against Ohio State on Jan. 25 and her fourth at Michigan State on Feb. 1. Doyle scored in double figures in 11 of Iowa’s 16 conference contests this season and dished out six or more assists 12 times.
Doyle finished the regular season ranked 15th nationally in assists per game (6.6) and 18th in total assists (177). Doyle has dished out 325 assists in her career – a mark that ranks 13th all-time.
The Hawkeyes open Big Ten Tournament play on Thursday, March 1, at 1:30 p.m. (CT). Iowa will face the winner of Wednesday’s contest between 12th-seeded Northwestern and 13th seeded Wisconsin.