ISU women defeat Holy Cross following big first half run

Junior guard Nikki Moody dribbles up the court during Iowa State’s 72-50 win over Holy Cross on Dec. 28, 2013, at Hilton Coliseum. Moody finished the game with a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Maddy Arnold

After a 16-day break from play, Iowa State returned to Hilton on Saturday to improve to a perfect 10-0. If Iowa State wins against William & Mary on Sunday – its last nonconference game – it will enter Big 12 play undefeated for only the third time in school history.

The No. 14 ISU women’s basketball team (10-0, 0-0 Big 12) defeated Holy Cross (7-3, 0-0 Patriot League) in the first round of the Cyclone Challenge. Iowa State won 72-50 on Saturday after a 27-8 run in the first half.

“We had a stretch there everything we looked at we made,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. “Our kids got caught flat footed on the opening tip. We were lined up wrong and they make a layup. I’m like ‘how the hell does that happen?’… They scored six in a minute and a half and then they scored eight in the next 15, 16 minutes.”

Iowa State started off the game slow and shot 0-of-3 in the first two minutes. Holy Cross scored six points in just more than a minute and a half to start the game.

Nikki Moody scored on a 3-pointer to give Iowa State its first points of the game. Moody’s basket began Iowa State’s 27-8 run, and she played all 20 minutes of the first half and had 10 points, nine assists and four rebounds in the opening period.

“We started off kind of rough. We kept on giving up layups but I think when we started getting them to fall we came back pretty strong,” said junior guard Nikki Moody.

After Moody’s 3-pointer, Iowa State outscored Holy Cross 41-22 in the first half. During the first half, Iowa State shot 8-of-18 from beyond the arc.

Freshman guard Jadda Buckley led the team with a career-high four 3-pointers while sophomore guard Nicole “Kidd” Blaskowsky had three on the afternoon.

“Threes are I think a key part of this team. We have the shooters,” Blaskowsky said. “When we see daylight you got to take it. Whether it’s a comfortable shot or not, it’s a risk you have to take.”

Iowa State will play in the final round of the Cyclone Challenge against William & Mary on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The matchup will be the Cyclones’ last nonconference game of the season.

“10-0 is good. 10-1 stinks. If you want to be good then you should be 11-0,” Fennelly said. “To say you’re one of three teams I think that went through nonconference undefeated. It’s another thing to be proud of. It’s something to take seriously and certainly that’s the way we’ll approach it.”