Cyclones win big in season opener

Zach Gourley

A slow start and an early deficit for the Cyclone women’s basketball team were erased in the first half as Iowa State beat Houston Baptist 73-33 in Hilton Coliseum Friday night.

The lowdown

Cyclone fans at Hilton Coliseum saw their young team go through some early struggles in the season opener as Houston Baptist jumped all out early.

The Huskies started off hot, hitting back to back three-pointers from Joselyn Pugh to open the game.

ISU coach Bill Fennelly changed his lineup early and often, rotating guards Chassidy Cole and Lauren Mansfield with freshman Nikki Moody, who got the start at point guard, searching for a lineup that would work. With the Cyclones trailing and the momentum in Houston Baptist’s corner, Iowa State went to a full-court press.

The Huskies led 16-8 with 11:32 to play in the first half, when the Cyclones went a 30-0 run the end the period and take control of the game.

Fennelly said that he applied the press not only to create turnovers but he also said he was looking for something that would energize his team.

The Cyclones were led offensively by Hallie Christofferson with 13 points on 6-of-12 shooting and was the only ISU player in double figures.

Turning point

Down 16-8 with 11:32 left to play in the first half, guard Kelsey Harris stole the ball and pushed it up court, resulting in a layup by Christofferson that sparked a 30-0 Cyclone run to end the half.

X Factor

Nikki Moody — Iowa State point guard

The freshman from Euless, Texas, tallied eight points, seven assists and just one turnover in her first collegiate start. Moody’s ability to drive and find teammates in the paint gave Cyclone posts Christofferson and Chelsea Poppens opportunities for easy buckets.

By the numbers

11: Rebounds by Cyclone forward Chelsea Poppens as the junior was active on the board despite shooting just 1-4 on the night for six points.

20: Houston Baptist turnovers on the night while the Huskies combined for just three total assists.

20: Offensive rebounds for the Cyclones, to just five for Houston Baptist.

10: Rebounds for Cyclone freshman Fallon Ellis in just 13 minutes of playing time.

Up next for Iowa State

The Cyclones (1-0) travel to Des Moines to play Drake Tuesday at 5:00 p.m.