Huge run propels Cyclone women to first win

Dean Berhow-Goll

After coming off a sluggish start and trailing Houston Baptist 16-8 at one point in the first half, Iowa State went on a 30-0 run to end the half and never looked back. 

“I don’t know if we forgot what time the game time was. We got off to a terrible start,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. 

Along with the slow start, Iowa State (1-0) had to overcome a tough night for junior forward Chelsea Poppens. Even though Poppens was only 1-of-4 from the floor, she did pull down 11 rebounds and was 4-of-4 from the free-throw line, while hustling and diving after loose balls. 

After being down 16-8 early in the first half, Iowa State went on a 30-0 run to go into half up 38-16. The run extended into the second half as freshman Nikki Moody banged a three after a Poppens layup to make it 43-16 before Houston Baptist finally stopped the run.

“I feel like we started slow, but then we picked it up and started playing together and playing hard and with energy,” Moody said. “Especially when we started pressing, it picked us all up, and we started to play the way we’re supposed to.”

Leading Iowa State on offense was sophomore Hallie Christofferson, filling the void left by Poppens. She was 50 percent from the floor and also added four rebounds.

Along with Christofferson, Iowa State had seven players with at least six points.

Iowa State also found other ways to score, tallying 19 assists on the night compared to the Huskies’ three. The Cyclones also were hitting from behind the arc as three players had at least two threes.

Moody was able to provide a spark in her first regular season game. Moody only had eight points, but managed a 7-to-1 turnover ratio, three rebounds, a steal and one big block from behind on a fast break. 

“I liked her game,” Fennelly said. “I think Nikki gives us some energy, some speed. She can see the floor, seven assists and one turnover. Those are some pretty good numbers.”

On the defensive side, it was all Iowa State. The Cyclones held Houston Baptist to 22 percent shooting on the night and forced 20 turnovers. They also out-rebounded Houston Baptist 55-24. 

Although the game was practically won before halftime, after all the Cyclone team has been through with Fennelly’s cancer and center Anna Prins out with a knee injury, members cannot help but be happy to be 1-0.

“It’s always good to start 1-0,” Fennelly said. “Now everything is for real and we’ll get back to work tomorrow morning.”