Megan Gustafson scored 30 points on 14-for-16 shooting and pulled down 16 rebounds, and No. 2 seed Iowa escaped with a 66-61 win over No. 15 seed Mercer on Friday afternoon in Iowa City, Iowa.
Makenzie Meyer added 16 points for Iowa (27-6), which trailed by as many as four points in the fourth quarter before recovering. The Hawkeyes advanced to play the seventh-seeded Missouri (23-10) on Sunday, also in Iowa City. The Tigers beat 10th-seeded Drake 77-76.
Keke Calloway scored 21 points to lead Mercer (25-8), which had its 17-game win streak ended. Amanda Thompson added 18 points and a game-high six steals for the Bears.
Mercer grabbed a four-point lead when Calloway made a 3-pointer with 6:58 to go in the fourth quarter. But Iowa regrouped with a 5-0 run to regain a 57-56 lead with 4:52 remaining.
Calloway struck again with a 3-pointer to put Mercer ahead 59-57 on the next possession. Once again, the Hawkeyes battled back with a 5-0 run to pull in front 62-59 with 2:24 to play.
Iowa maintained the lead from there, sealing the outcome with two free throws from Kathleen Doyle in the final minute.
Mercer entered the fourth quarter with a 51-50 edge. The Bears posted a 24-15 advantage during the third quarter to transform an eight-point deficit into a one-point lead.
Thompson and Shannon Titus made baskets in the final minute of the third quarter to put Mercer on top.
The Hawkeyes led 35-27 at the half. Meyer drained an open 3-pointer with only two seconds left to increase Iowa's advantage to eight points.
The Bears enjoyed a 6-0 run midway through the second quarter thanks to a jump shot by Thompson, followed by back-to-back jumpers by Rachel Selph.
Iowa led 16-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Hawkeyes scored the first six points and jumped to a 14-4 lead with 3:00 remaining in the period after Gustafson made a layup.
Mercer fought back with an 8-2 run to close out the quarter and set the stage for a competitive contest.
--Field Level Media