Cyclones get win on senior night


Freshman guard Nikki Moody shoots following a fast break during the ISU women’s basketball team’s game against Kansas State on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Hilton Coliseum. Moody’s 15 points helped lift the Cyclones over the Wildcats by a score of 57-33. 

By Dean Berhow-Goll

February was a good month for the ISU women’s basketball team, going 7-2 after going 2-5 in January. 

The team capped off the month with a 57-33 win against Kansas State on Wednesday. With the win over the Wildcats (18-11, 9-8 Big 12), the Cyclones (18-10, 9-8) have now won 10 straight senior night games and are 15-2 under coach Bill Fennelly in such games. 

“Those are nights that, as a coach, you want your players to experience. Our seniors, to stand out there and play like they did, articulate their feelings to all the people that have helped them,” Fennelly said, referring to the ISU seniors’ postgame speeches. “But especially in a game that we really needed in a lot of ways.”

The 10,983 fans came to Hilton Coliseum to watch the Cyclones in their last home game of the regular season on the senior night of Lauren Mansfield and Chassidy Cole.

Even though it was senior night, it was a freshman who led Iowa State, as Nikki Moody paced the Cyclones with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists. Closely behind her was Hallie Christofferson with 14 points and Mansfield with 13 points.

“As a team, we went in there and we wanted to play well for our seniors,” Moody said. “We wanted to end on a win for them, so we were really excited.”

Defensively, Iowa State shut down Kansas State. The 33 points scored was the fewest allowed by the Cyclones in a Big 12 game in school history. The Wildcats’ leading scorer, Brittany Chambers, was held to four points on 1-of-7 shooting and had six turnovers. 

“Brittany Chambers, certainly that’s a kid that can change games,” Fennelly said. “We asked [Chassidy] to chase her and she did for 38 minutes.”

The way the two seniors, Mansfield and Cole, contributed on the night was an example of how they contributed their entire careers. Mansfield hit shots and helped distribute the ball.

Cole filled up the stat sheet just as she did her entire career as a Cyclone with four points, three assists, two steals and two rebounds. Cole also was given credit for shutting down the Big 12’s seventh leading scorer in Chambers. 

“Not only was it a great senior night for them, but it happened at a time that was very important to our team, and I thought both of them played great,” Fennelly said of his two senior guards. 

Mansfield’s parents, Barry and Sue, were in town to see their daughter’s first game as a Cyclone on her senior night. Mansfield said she was nervous before the game, but when she came out of the game to the standing ovation after the win was in hand, she said she had a weight lifted off of her shoulders.

“It really meant a lot to me for my parents to be there knowing this was senior night and kind of my last game,” Mansfield said.

With the win, Iowa State has improved to 7-2 in February and is 9-8 in the Big 12. The win puts Iowa State in contention for an NCAA tournament berth, which would mark the 13th NCAA appearance in the Fennelly era.

“I’m not going to sit here and say I thought for sure we were going to go 7-2. Not in this league.” Fennelly said. “We kept talking about how we finish things here. Anyone can start, anyone, but you’ve got to finish, and I don’t care how good or bad, it is we’re going to finish the Iowa State way. And to those kids’ credit they did that without question.”