Iowa State comes together during overtime in ‘ugly’ win against Missouri

Dean Berhow-Goll

Trailing at the end of the first half to the last-place team in the Big 12 can be demoralizing. The ISU women’s basketball team, however, didn’t let that stop them from pulling out a win in overtime against Missouri, 66-59. 

As ISU coach Bill Fennelly was walking into the locker room, his son and director of player development, Billy Fennelly, grabbed him and had a relieving comment for his father. 

“He said to me, ‘Dad, in February every team has these games and some people win them and some people lose them, and we won. Let’s take advantage of it,'” Fennelly said.

A slow first half kept the Tigers (11-15, 1-14 Big 12) leading Iowa State (17-9, 8-7) the entire game until 45 seconds left in the half when the Cyclones took the lead. A dismal 23 percent shooting from the field in the first half was a new season low. They also allowed Missouri to shoot 40 percent from the field and 46 percent from behind the arc in the first half. 

After Iowa State battled back in second half and lead with less than a minute left, Missouri had one last chance to extend the game. With 15 seconds left, Sydney Crafton hit a step-back 3-pointer to tie the game at 57. A last-ditch effort from Lauren Mansfield was no good and the game went to overtime. 

“You could sit here and talk about [this game] forever, or it could leave you speechless,” Fennelly said. “I’m kind of in the middle.”

Coming into the game, Missouri’s number one priority was to limit Iowa State’s 3-point shot. The Cyclones struggled the entire game shooting from behind the arc, only making seven of 27 shots.

“We felt like they get so many 3s on the dribble penetration,” said MU coach Robin Pingeton. “It’s a great crowd regardless, but they really live and die by the 3s and that’s where their energy comes from, so we really wanted to limit the 3-point shot attempts.” 

In the first half, Chelsea Poppens was limited to 10 minutes in the first half with two fouls and six points. In the second half, she was able to be a force around the basket, compiling 19 points and 13 rebounds in the second half and overtime. 

Poppens shot a school-record staggering 24 free throws, making 15 of them. She lead all scorers with 25 points on the night while adding 16 rebounds. That gives her 13 double-doubles on the year. 

“Most of it was ugly, but a win is a win and we’re happy with it,” Poppens said. “I think going through this whole season it’s all about keeping your poise. When something goes wrong, back up motivate your team and bring the energy next time.” 

In overtime, Iowa State was able to outscore Missouri 9-2. What started the run was a 3-pointer from sophomore forward Hallie Christofferson, who had 13 points on the night. 

“In overtime we came together,” Christofferson said. “We kept telling ourselves that we’re not losing at home and we just went out there and we played to the end of the game.”