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Hawkeyes' Kathleen Doyle wins Big Ten Player of the Year

This is the third straight year the award has gone to an Iowa player.
Credit: AP
Iowa guard Kathleen Doyle (22) points to forward Monika Czinano as they celebrate a basket against Nebraska during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Iowa City, Iowa, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette via AP)

IOWA CITY, Iowa — For the third straight year, an Iowa Hawkeye is bringing home Big Ten Player of the Year in women's basketball.  And this year, the title belongs to senior Kathleen Doyle.

There was some doubt surrounding the Hawkeyes coming into this season. Megan Gustafson was perhaps the best player to ever put on the black and gold.

Doyle, a four-year starter, saw gradual improvement throughout her seasons at Iowa. Her senior year saw the biggest leap, though, as she finished top ten in the Big Ten in six major statistical categories, including leading the Big Ten in assists.

Some notable stats: 18.2 points per game (fourth in Big Ten), 45 percent shooting (eighth in Big Ten), 79 percent from the free throw line (third in Big Ten), 185 assists (first in Big Ten), 50 steals (10th in Big Ten) and a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio (tie- eighth in Big Ten).  

All of the numbers related to scoring and shooting are career-highs, and she set a school assist record earlier this season.  She also started every game she played in for the first time in her career.

Doyle's numbers, as well as her presence on the court, were enough to earn her the title Big Ten Player of the Year; the third straight year a Hawkeye has won the coveted award.  With this honor, Iowa becomes the second school in Big Ten history to three-peat at the award.

Doyle was shocked, and so excited when she learned the news.  Watch the moment she found out:

And Megan Gustafson, the one who'd won the award the past two years before her, was pretty stoked about it too.

The 18th-ranked Hawkeyes are heading into the Big Ten tournament with the number three seed - meaning they get a double-bye, and won't have to play until the semifinals.

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