AP awards: Gustafson player of year, Mulkey coach of year
Published 8:10 am Friday, April 5, 2019
TAMPA, Fla. — Megan Gustafson rewrote the women’s basketball record book at Iowa.
The 6-foot-3 center led the nation in scoring for the second straight season, averaging 27.9 points, and became the fourth player to reach 1,000 points in a year. On Thursday, she won The Associated Press women’s college basketball player of the year award.
“She’s an amazing young woman who left an incredible legacy at this school,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said.
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Led by Gustafson, the Hawkeyes reached the Elite Eight for the first time since 1993. That season, coach Kim Mulkey and Baylor ended their season.
Mulkey was also honored Thursday, taking the AP coach of the year award for the second time. She has led top-ranked Baylor to a 35-1 record and helped the Lady Bears reach the Final Four for the first time since 2012. That was when Mulkey won the coach of the year, leading Baylor to a 40-0 record and the national championship.
Gustafson set an NCAA record this season with 412 field goals. She tied the mark for double-doubles with 33. She shot 69.7 percent from the field this season and finished her career by making nearly 66 percent of her shots.
The Iowa staff surprised Gustafson that she had won the award by slipping in a note while she was reading letters from fans.
“I was not expecting it at all. I love my coaches and they’ve been so supportive of me,” Gustafson said. “It’s been an incredible ride. I’m in a little bit in shock right now, really excited to have represented Iowa.”
Gustafson’s family was joined at the awards ceremony by her parents and her sister.
She received 15 votes Thursday from the 28-member national media panel that selects the weekly AP rankings. Voting was done before the NCAA Tournament.
Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon received seven votes while Napheesa Collier of UConn three. Asia Durr of Louisville had two votes and Teaira McCowan of Mississippi State one.