Iowa’s Gustafson named Big Ten player of the year
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa senior Megan Gustafson was named the Big Ten player of the year Monday, becoming the first Hawkeye to win the award twice.
Gustafson was tabbed for the honor in a vote by the league’s coaches and media members.
Gustafson, once a relatively unknown recruit out of Port Wing, Wisconsin, averaged 28.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, and shot 68.7 percent from the field in Big Ten games this season. She scored at least 20 points in 17 of Iowa’s 18 games and had at least 10 rebounds 17 times.
“It’s been an amazing four years here,” Gustafson said during Senior Day ceremonies following a 74-50 win over Northwestern on Sunday.
Gustafson, one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy awarded to the nation’s top player, leads the country in field goal percentage (70.8) and points per game (27.7). Gustafson’s 27 double-doubles are the second-most in America.
Gustafson closed her regular-season career with 34 points and 12 rebounds against the Wildcats.
“Thanks for finding me. I don’t know how you did, to be honest,” Gustafson joked while thanking her coaches on Sunday. “But I’ll be forever thankful for that. And thanks, Hawks fans, for believing in this small-town girl.”
Iowa, the second seed in the Big Ten tournament, plays on Friday against either seventh-seeded Minnesota or 10th-seeded Indiana. The Hawkeyes will likely return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena in two weeks to host early-round NCAA Tournament games.