Iowa State falls short in quarterfinals to Kansas State

David Merrill

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Iowa State’s Big 12 tournament run came to an end Wednesday. Iowa State put together a late rally against Kansas State, but fell just short, losing 56-53.

This was the third time this season that these two teams had met each other, and all three were games decided by single digits. 

ISU freshman forward Hallie Christofferson lead the team with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. She was 3-of-4 from behind the arc.

“I’m a pretty calm person,” Christofferson said. “I just kept trying to stay calm and just go with what the defense was giving us. We had to take the open shots.”

Christofferson was voted to the All-Freshman Big 12 team prior to the tournament, and with the Cyclones trailing 47-36 with 8:49 left in the game, she showed the fans and her team exactly why.

She rattled off eight straight points including two straight 3-pointers that brought the score to 49-42 with 5:27 remaining. 

“When you see a kid in this environment, as a freshman, bring our team back almost single handedly, that says a lot about her,” said coach Bill Fennelly. “She is a very calm person, she doesn’t get rattled. She certainly hit some big shots and gave our kids some energy.”

Kansas State would answer with a 3-pointer, but the Cyclones kept battling back. Christofferson converted a layup and junior guard Lauren Mansfield hit a three to bring the score to 52-47.

With 1:52 remaining, senior shooting guard Kelsey Bolte hit two straight jump shots to pull the Cyclones within three points at 54-51 with 57 seconds left.

The teams traded baskets and then Mansfield came up with a steal to give the Cyclones a chance for a shot with 12 seconds to go. Junior guard Chassidy Cole got off an open 3-point shot that rimmed off, then Mansfield grabbed the rebound and found Bolte behind the 3-point line. 

Bolte looked open at first, but KSU forward Jalana Childs hustled to get a hand in her face, which caused the shot to miss off the rim and the Wildcats to prevail.

Bolte finished with 10 points on 5-of-12 shooting. She struggled from behind the arc, going 0-for-5. Mansfield finished with eight points.

Iowa State struggled with KSU point guard Brittany Chambers and Childs. Chambers finished with 20 points and seven rebounds while Childs contributed 14 points and four rebounds.

“They’re very well coached, they’re very hard to score on and we knew that,” Fennelly said. “It was difficult for us to get some looks at the basket, but that’s Big 12 basketball.”