Poppens, Christofferson hook Longhorns in Cyclones’ win


ISU coach Bill Fennelly yells out plays to his team during the game against the Longhorns on Feb. 4, 2012 at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones beat Texas 71-56.

Dean Berhow-Goll

Behind a 19-4 run and hot shooting in the second half, Iowa State pulled away from Texas and comfortably came away with a 71-56 win Saturday at Hilton Coliseum. 

The Cyclones (13-8, 4-6 Big 12) scored 44 points in the second half to pull away from the Longhorns (13-9, 3-7) behind 20 second-half points from Chelsea Poppens. 

Sophomore forward Hallie Christofferson kept up her hot shooting from 3-point range, hitting five of eight from beyond the arc to match her career-high. In the last five games, she’s been shooting 50 percent from behind the arc, hitting 14 3s.

“There’s really nothing that I did different,” Christofferson said. “I just keep it the same and keep doing my thing.”

Poppens scored a career-high 27 points with 10 rebounds. She was able to put up those numbers on only 24 minutes due to foul trouble throughout the game. 

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a performance, unless it was an NBA game on TV, what Chelsea Poppens did in the second half,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. “I think the two things I say about Poppens, she’s a walking, breathing example of what can happen to you in your life if you work really hard.

“And the other thing is she’s a great teammate. She’s in foul trouble and she’s the biggest cheerleader on the bench. Then she goes in the game and just takes over.”

For Poppens, it was not only her 10th double-double of the season, it was also her 10th 20-point game of her career, and she’s scored at least 20 points in three of four games. 

Even with Poppens’ performance, UT coach Gail Goestenkors was sure to pass on the praise to the entire ISU team.

“She’s a great player, but certainly it’s a team effort,” Goestenkors said. “They don’t rely on just one person. That’s what happens with great teams, you have a lot of great weapons.”

The Cyclones were able to turn up the defensive pressure in the second half, which allowed them to go on the 19-4 run that put them ahead 50-40 with 8:25 left. The Cyclones forced 15 turnovers in the second half, leading to 22 points from turnovers. 

“We turned the ball over,” Goestenkors said of Iowa State’s run. “I thought that was the biggest issue we had. I told the team I was proud of their effort, but we didn’t play smart.”

Another Cyclone who had a good game was senior Lauren Mansfield. She didn’t have the shooting percentage, only making one of 10 shots.

However, Mansfield had an 11-1 assist to turnover ratio, which is equally important as a guard. 

“Most people would look at the stats and say Lauren didn’t play very well. I thought she played great,” Fennelly said. “We have 25 field goals and 23 assists. If I’m Chelsea Poppens, I’d be buying dinner for Lauren Mansfield tonight.”

Iowa State is now 2-0 in February and has won four of five in conference play. Fennelly feels not only are the Cyclones playing great basketball and understanding their roles, but against Texas, they played about as well as they could.

“I do think our players have identified their roles,” Fennelly said. “I thought the way we played the last 15 minutes, we couldn’t play any better, and it was against a really good team. [I’m] very proud of our team. It certainly finishes off a really good week for our kids.”