Hallie Christofferson, defense boosts ISU to victory against rival Drake


photo: Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Daily

Junior forward Hallie Christofferson goes up for the shot against Drake on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones took advantage of a large first-half lead and beat the Bulldogs 87-45.

Stephen Koenigsfeld

Just one half of the in-state rivalry against Drake would have been enough for Iowa State in its 87-45 rout Tuesday night.

The No. 24 Cyclones and the Bulldogs kept pace with each other for the first three-and-a-half minutes of the game. But between the 16:31 minute mark and the 12:04 mark, the Cyclones (5-0) were able to go on a 10-3 run to increase their lead to 21-10.

That was only half of it. Starting at the 12:04 minute mark, the ISU defense was able to keep the Bulldogs (1-4) scoreless. Due to such a long streak of superb defense, forward Hallie Christofferson said some bench players saw time in the first half.

“We get a lot of energy from that,” Christofferson said. “It’s energy, and it spreads throughout our team. It starts on defense and spreads to our offense.”

The Bulldogs went 8:48 without scoring a point.

Christofferson was able to help lift the Cyclones to such a large margin in the first half by going nearly perfect from every aspect of the floor.

“She’s a kid that’s hard to guard, and we played her in a lot of spots,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. “She’s a hard matchup; she can step out and shoot the 3, she got some offensive rebounds and got fouled.”

Christofferson was perfect up until two seconds left in the first half, when she missed a free throw. The Cyclones ended the half ahead 51-13.

Ever since that 12:04 mark, the Cyclones didn’t look back for a second.

Extending their lead to as much as 45 points in the second half, Christofferson continued to excel for the Cyclones on the court, going 5-of-6 in field goals, 2-of-3 for 3-pointers and 8-of-9 in free throws.

Sophomore guard Nikki Moody ticketed the first double-double of her career with 15 points and 10 assists on the night as well.

“When she gets into the open court, she’s pretty good,” Fennelly said. “Then [she is] throwing the ball into open courts and they’re making shots. That’s how you get assists. You’ve got to pass it, and then they’ve got to make it.”

After such a large lead in the first half, Moody said it did nothing but help the team progress throughout the game.

“If we don’t turn the ball over, we’re more likely to score,” Moody said. “Those turnovers really helped us a lot.”

The Cyclones were able to cruise to a large enough lead that all 11 available players for the Cyclones saw playing time in the absence of First-team All-Big 12 forward Chelsea Poppens.

Freshman Nicole Blaskowsky saw a majority of the second half, where she was able to score 10 points. 

Although the bench for the Cyclones was only able to bucket 16 points overall, the defense was able to hold off the aggressive Bulldogs in the second half.

“It was great, just great,” Moody said when talking about seeing all of her teammates get some playing time. “Just happiness for them and just the score. We were happy.”

The Cyclones will continue their season with a rivalry game against Iowa on Dec. 6 in Iowa City.