Iowa State hosts Jayhawks in home finale

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Iowa State guard Kelsey Bolte breaks past Texas guard Ashleigh Fontenette during the game against the Longhorns at Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 21. The Cyclones defeated the Longhorns in overtime 66-57.

Dan Tracy

Tuesday night, for the 67th time in her career as a Cyclone, senior guard Kelsey Bolte will walk out onto the floor at Hilton Coliseum and prepare to play a regular season game in front of a home crowd filled with fans donning her No. 11 jersey.

“I can’t really believe that it’s already going to be senior night and the last time I’ll play in Hilton,” Bolte said. “I’m just going to try and enjoy it and go out with a bang I guess.”

The seventh all-time leading scorer at Iowa State and only senior on this season’s squad, Bolte has taken a heavy load this season as the leading scorer on the court and as the leader of this Cyclones’ teamĀ off the court.

“The impact she’s made on our university has been dramatic,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. “She’s a walking, talking example of what it means to be an ISU student-athlete.”

Not only will it be the last home game of Bolte’s career, but it will also be the final home matchup for the Cyclones this season as they play host to the Kansas Jayhawks. Both the Cyclones (20-8, 8-6 Big 12) and the Jayhawks (19-9, 6-8 Big 12) enter Tuesday’s matchup on three-game winning streaks.

The Jayhawks, who defeated Iowa State in overtime 86-85 on Feb. 9, have been led this season by sophomore forward Carolyn Davis, who is third in the Big 12 in scoring at 19 points per game. Davis is coming off a career-high in points with 36 in the Jayhawks’ 77-61 victory over Nebraska on Saturday.

“She’s very physical,” said sophomore forward Chelsea Poppens. “It’s just kind of fun playing against someone like that; it pushes you to compete more and step up your game, especially in the Big 12.”

Another thorn in the side of the Cyclones the last time they squared off was 5-foot-4-inch sophomore guard Angel Goodrich, the Big 12 leader in assists, who dished out 15 assists in the win. Fennelly compared the duo of Goodrich and Davis to that of the former Utah Jazz tandem of John Stockton and Karl Malone.

“We better guard better, we’ve been a decent defensive team, we didn’t guard anyone that night,” Fennelly said of the first matchup against Kansas. “They scored 86 points, I thought we were playing the men’s team for a while, the way they were scoring on us.”

With Big 12 conference play winding down, tonight’s matchup will also factor in to the seeding of next week’s Big 12 Tournament. Only three games separate the teams placed third through eighth in the conference, with Iowa State in fourth and Kansas in seventh.

Opening tip of the Cyclones and Jayhawks is scheduled for 7 p.m.