Cyclones ride 2nd half surge again to victory


Chassidy Cole moves the ball down court against a Kansas defender on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Hilton Coliseum. Cole leads the team with 11 assists, sharing point guard duties with Lauren Mansfield and Nikki Moody. 

Cory Weaver

Iowa State faced Kansas Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum in hopes of avenging a double-overtime loss to the rival earlier this season. A second half spree did just that.

The Cyclones (15-9, 6-7 Big 12) connected on just 31 percent of their shots in the first half but were able to capitalize off second chance points to keep the score close.

“When you’re not scoring in your initial offense, getting extra shots helps,” said coach Bill Fennelly. “And we had 18 offensive rebounds and shot 45 percent. So you’re not only shooting a decent percentage, you’re getting the ones you missed.”

Junior Chelsea Poppens continued her success on the boards and helped create some of those second chances with six offensive rebounds in the first half to complement the shooting struggles. She went on to have 17 points and 11 rebounds, her 12th double-double this season.

Despite leading the Jayhawks in points in the paint (12-8), second chance points (11-2) and rebounds (24-11) at the break, Fennelly told seniors Lauren Mansfield and Chassidy Cole that he needed them to take charge.

“He kind of got on to us and told Lauren and I we really needed to step up and I felt like it was all or nothing,” Cole said. “If we didn’t step up, I felt like our team was going to go down the drain.”

Cole went on to dish out a career-high 11 assists, and the team ended up going on a 19-2 run to start the half. Brynn Williamson hit back-to-back 3s to get it started, and she said it was the turning point.

“That run that we had, when we went to huddle we just knew [and] I was like ‘it’s not going to go back,'” Williamson said.

Kansas answered back with an eight-point run of their own, but Mansfield was there to break the scoring streak by getting to the basket for a layup. She had nine points on the game.

The team continued to click on all cylinders en route to the 66-47 victory, but Williamson said they already have their eyes set on the Sooners for another grudge match.

“Now all we can do is look forward to Oklahoma because we got embarrassed there, we’re not going to embarrass ourselves here in front of 10,000 people who pay money to come watch up play,” Williamson said.

Tip off for Oklahoma is set for 7 p.m. Saturday.