ISU women can’t catch Baylor


Senior forward Hallie Christofferson guards a Baylor player on her way to the hoop on March 3 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones lost to the Lady Bears 70-54. Christofferson had 14 points and three rebounds in her final regular season game.

Maddy Arnold

Iowa State was within five points of Baylor three different times in the second half Tuesday night, but the comeback for the Cyclones would slip away each time.

The Cyclones responded to double-digit deficits to cut the Lady Bears’ lead to five points, but that just was not enough for the ISU women’s basketball team (20-9, 9-9 Big 12) on Tuesday. Iowa State fell to No. 9 Baylor (26-4, 16-2 Big 12) 70-54 on senior night.

“We just could not rebound the ball at all, couldn’t get to the free throw line,” said ISU head coach Bill Fennelly. “We could never get the shot, the play to feel like you got a chance to make them uncomfortable. But we competed.”

Iowa State struggled just after tipoff. It took the Cyclones two minutes to score their first point — a made free throw by junior guard Nikki Moody. Iowa State soon found itself down 19-6 with a less than nine minutes off the clock.

The Cyclones leading scorer, senior forward Hallie Christofferson, got in foul trouble early. She had two quick fouls in the first half and only played seven minutes as a result. She finished the game with 14 points on her senior night.

“I think the momentum changes a lot when Hallie’s off,” said freshman guard Seanna Johnson. “Obviously she’s a big piece of our puzzle. I feel like other players stepped up, especially Nikki Moody.”

Iowa State started the second half down by seven before Christofferson made a layup just a few seconds in. Moody cut the deficit to five again by sinking a 3-pointer. She finished the night with 17 points including four 3-pointers.

Johnson got Baylor’s lead down to five for the last time with a layup to make the score 39-34 with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game. But the Lady Bears responded with a quick 9-1 run and would lead by as much as 16 in the second half.

“I thought we came out a little sluggish but picked it up there and matched their effort right before half,” Christofferson said. “We fought with them the best we could.”

One bright spot for Iowa State was holding BU point guard Odyssey Sims — the nation’s leading scorer — to just 11 points in 32 minutes. Sims didn’t score a single point until the second half. She had never scored less than 17 in a game this season.

Sims averaged 30.2 points per game before Tuesday night. When the Cyclones played the Lady Bears earlier this season, Sims was just shy of a double-double. She scored 24 points, had nine assists and five rebounds in her 31 minutes against Iowa State.

“We tried to do some different things,” Fennelly said. “But the disappointing thing is, she takes the ball to the basket with three seconds to go and scores. Those are things that if you’re really locked in you don’t allow to happen.”