Seniors enjoy heartfelt win against Kansas State on senior night

Caitlyn Diimig

The two seniors, Lauren Mansfield and Chassidy Cole, sat in their black folding chairs holding hands with fellow teammates at Wednesday’s game against Kansas State.

As they waited for the announcer to call their names to run on to the court and have the crowd erupt in cheers, Mansfield seemed to be holding back tears and Cole’s smile was not as big as usual.

It was bittersweet for them, as they waited to play their last home game in Hilton Coliseum.

“It just meant a lot to me for my parents to be here and knowing this was senior night and kind of my last game,” Mansfield said. “I’m just a very emotional personal.”

Before the game, freshman Nikki Moody talked to her senior leaders.

“They were nervous, I knew they were nervous,” Moody said. “I told them I was going to play hard for them and that we were going to get a win for them.” 

The game itself was bitter for Iowa State in the first half, but sweet in the second half.

In the first half, it took the Cyclones five minutes to put a ball in a basket. The low scoring continued with five minutes remaining, as Iowa State had put only 11 points on the scoreboard.

The Wildcats alsowere having trouble finding the basket. Cole guarded KSU junior Brittany Chambers, who averages 14.8 points a game, and held her to only two points in the first half.

The Cyclones left the half up 21-17.

The game began to taste sweeter for the Cyclones in the second half.

Sophomore Hallie Christofferson started the half with a 3-pointer and Mansfield quickly followed with a 3 of her own.

Iowa State got hot from beyond the arc in the second half, scoring six of its total eight 3-pointers.

By the end of the game, Cole’s smile was a little bit brighter and so was Mansfield’s as they received a standing ovation from Hilton Coliseum.

The seniors had won their last home game of their college career 57-33.

But the night wasn’t over for the seniors quite yet. Following tradition, Mansfield and Cole gave their senior speeches.

“The three years here were some of the best of my life,” Cole said in her speech.

By the second page of her speech, Cole began to choke up and had to wipe tears from her face.

The crowd clapped and cheered her on to help her get through her speech.

Mansfield joked around a lot in her speech, but she too couldn’t hold back the tears when she began talking about coach Bill Fennelly.

Several members of the team were trading off between crying and laughing.

“You have challenged me like I have never been challenged before in my life and that has made me a better player and person,” Mansfield said.

Fennelly said he was proud of the seniors.

“You feel like a proud parent to see them do that in front of a crowd like that and feel like they’re ready to move on with their life,” Fennelly said.