Big second half produces senior night victory for Cyclones

Cory Weaver

Closing out games on cold shooting nights is something the ISU women’s basketball team has been accustomed to. Senior night on Wednesday against Kansas State was no exception.

The same Cyclone team (18-10, 9-8 Big 12) that shot 8-of-24 in the first half turned it up over the final 20 minutes to give seniors Lauren Mansfield and Chassidy Cole a 57-33 win on their final night in Hilton Coliseum.

The Lowdown

Both teams started out cold from the field, but Iowa State’s perfect 3-of-3 shooting from the free-throw line and an extra field goal helped the Cyclones edge out a four-point, 21-17 lead at halftime.

Just as they have done several times this season, however, the Cyclones came out firing with a 3-pointer from Hallie Christofferson for the first points of the half.

Christofferson’s 3-pointer got the Hilton Coliseum crowd on its feet and kept fans standing throughout the 21-6 run over the next five minutes. Mansfield and Christofferson each had seven points during the run.

Iowa State was in a similar situation against Oklahoma earlier in the season, where the Sooners came back from 17 points in the narrow Cyclone victory, but it didn’t happen again Wednesday night.

The Cyclones shot 45 percent from the field in the second half, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range to give the team its seventh win during the month of February.

Turning point

With 3:47 remaining in the first half, the then-leading scorer, KSU guard Tasha Dickey, connected on a fast-break layup to put the Wildcats (18-11, 9-8) ahead 15-14. From that point on, until 14:34 left in the second half, the Cyclones went on a 21-6 run to solidify the lead.

X factor

ISU guard Hallie Christofferson

The sophomore forward hit the 3-pointer to start the second half and keep the momentum from the first half going. She also connected on a baseline jumper to end the first half en route to 14 points on the game.

With leading scorer and rebounder Chelsea Poppens on the bench in foul trouble, Christofferson grabbed eight rebounds on the night.

By the numbers

2: Number of players in ISU history with 300 rebounds in a season (Poppens 2012 and Angie Welle in 2001 and 2002)

9: Games with double-digit scoring for Nikki Moody. Moody led the team with 15 points in the game

15-2: Iowa State’s record on senior night games under coach Bill Fennelly

33: Fewest points allowed by Iowa State in a conference game since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996.

Postgame chatter

“Our ineffectiveness on the offensive end tonight was a tremendous difference in this game.” — Kansas State coach Deb Patterson.

“They were asking me what to do and I really wasn’t sure what there was to do in Ames. They don’t like the snow.” — Mansfield on her parents being in Iowa for the first time.

“Everyone just stuck to the scout and it worked.” — Mansfield on how the Cyclones were able to contain Kansas State defensively.

“As a team, we went in there and wanted to play well for our seniors and be able to win for them.” — Moody on if she was nervous coming into senior night.

“If you would have said, ‘Here are [Poppens’] numbers tonight and you won,’ I would have thought you stopped on the way and had a couple.” — Fennelly on Poppens’ four points and seven rebounds.

Up next

The Cyclones face Brittney Griner and No. 1 Baylor at 11 a.m. Saturday in the regular-season finale.