Gustafson, Iowa reach Elite 8 by beating NC State 79-61
By JOEDY McCREARY
AP Sports Writer
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Megan Gustafson had 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead Iowa past North Carolina State 79-61 on Saturday in the Greensboro Regional semifinals.
Hannah Stewart added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Gustafson, who averages a Division I-best 28 points while also ranking second in rebounding, finished with her 33rd double-double to match the NCAA's single-season record. She made 10 of her 13 shots.
They helped the second-seeded Hawkeyes (29-6) earn their first Elite Eight appearance since 1993. Iowa will play either top-seeded Baylor or fourth-seeded South Carolina on Monday night with the winner advancing to the Final Four.
Iowa shot 54 percent and took command by hitting eight straight shots during a Gustafson-led 20-8 run that came after N.C. State pulled to within five midway through the third quarter. Alexis Sevillian bookended the burst with 3-pointers, with the second of those giving the Hawkeyes their largest lead to that point at 63-46 with 8 minutes left.
Freshman Elissa Cunane had 14 points and 11 rebounds, Kiara Leslie had 16 points and DD Rogers added 12 points for the third-seeded Wolfpack (28-6), who shot just 35 percent.
N.C. State: One of the best season - and most unlikely, after losing four players to season-ending injuries - in Wolfpack history came to an end at a familiar stage of the tournament. N.C. State reached the Sweet 16 for the 13th time in program history. But only once have the Wolfpack gone any further - in 1998, the year of the program's lone Final Four appearance.
Iowa: Thanks to Gustafson, it's among the Hawkeyes' deeper marches through the bracket in recent years. This was Iowa's first Sweet 16 since 2015 and just the third since the '93 team rolled to the lone Final Four in program history under coach C. Vivian Stringer.
Iowa advances to face the South Carolina-Baylor winner on Monday night in the regional final.
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