Iowa State breezes by Rockhurst in final exhibition game

David Merrill

Another strong performance in the post led Iowa State to an easy 79-29 victory over Rockhurst (Mo.).

Junior forward Chelsea Poppens netted 17 points and six rebounds. Sophomore forward Hallie Christofferson also had 17 points while grabbing five rebounds.

Junior center Anna Prins was out of action with a knee injury. That forced Iowa State to change some things in the post.

“It’s different than when you play with her versus Hallie or [Amanda Zimmerman],” Poppens said. “You can’t just lob it up, you have to change how you play. We don’t have as many outside shooters or Hallie has to take up that role.”

Christofferson filled in that role nicely by showing off the jumpshot she improved upon in the offseason. She shot 3-of-4 from behind the arc.

As a team, Iowa State shot 43 percent from 3-point range while scoring 29 points off of turnovers.

While the Cyclones scored just 22 points in the paint, the Hawks gave them 16 free-throw opportunities. Iowa State made 11 of the 16 free throws.

“That’s one of our strengths as a team,” Christofferson said. “Taking over [in the post] with our size advantage is going to be very beneficial and that is just going to keep improving.”

Rockhurst kept it fairly close for the first half. Iowa State took a 32-15 lead into the locker room.

A sharper second half on both sides of the ball paved the way for a 47-14 advantage in the second half.

“In the second half, we needed to find some more people that could score besides [Poppens and Christofferson],” said coach Bill Fennelly. “We knew that was going to be an issue for our team. Without Anna, that’s going to be a huge issue.

“I thought the second half went really well. [Jessica Schroll] and Kelsey Harris gave us a lift and scored some baskets.”

Fennelly also credited freshman forward Kileah Mays in making big improvements. Mays finished with five points and six rebounds.