Bolte, Mansfield shine despite Cyclone loss


Photo: Jake Lovett/Iowa State Da

Kelsey Bolte drives to the basket during Iowa State’s game against Texas A&M on Saturday, Jan. 22 in Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones lost 60-51, led by Bolte’s 25 points and 12 rebounds.

Dan Tracy

Saturday’s game of two-on-two pitting Iowa State’s Kelsey Bolte and Lauren Mansfield against Texas A&M’s Danielle Adams and Sydney Carter ended in a 38-38 tie. However, the game of five-on-five that counts in the win-loss column ended in a 60-51 victory for the No. 6 Aggies (17-1, 5-0 Big 12) over the No. 20 Cyclones (13-5, 1-3 Big 12).

“I think the difference in the game was their best player had 25 points and 12 rebounds, our best player had 25 points and 12 rebounds, their point guard had 13 points, our point guard had 13 points,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. “The rest of the players were the difference in the game, and that’s the nature of college basketball.”

Bolte and Mansfield finished the first half with 22 of Iowa State’s 26 points and finished the game with 38 of the team’s 51 points.

“I have no doubt that the other girls’ shots will come, they just have to stay confident and keep shooting the ball,” Bolte said.

Bolte has been on a tear in Big 12 conference play as Saturday marked the Ida Grove native’s fourth-consecutive 20-plus point outing.

“We’ve had a lot of great players here, but they’ve had a little more help,” Fennelly said. “She’s playing at a level that is as good as any player ever here.”

Mansfield, the Big 12’s second-leading point guard in assists per game, had a tough task in trying to hold onto the ball against the Aggies, who came in leading the nation with a +11.41 turnover margin.

“I don’t know if our strategy worked, I thought she had a heck of a game,” Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said of Mansfield. “The difference in the ball game when you look at the two [point guards is that] my two point guards went nine assists to one turnover, [Mansfield] just went for six assists and eight turnovers.”

Mansfield, who averages 3.29 turnovers per game, wasn’t alone as the Cyclones turned the ball over 20 times, becoming the 14th team this season to turn the ball over 20 or more times against the stifling Aggie defense.

“I tried to look after the ball,” Mansfield said. “I kind of struggled a little, but I just had to keep my dribble, we knew that they’d be in the passing lanes.”

Fennelly believed her turnovers were due more in part to her teammates’ mistakes than her own.

“She gets credited for eight turnovers, half of those aren’t her fault,” Fennelly said.

The team’s second, third and fourth-leading scorers — Hallie Christofferson, Anna Prins and Chelsea Poppens — combined for only nine points on 4-of-17 shooting.

“We’re just struggling to find that third and fourth scorer game in and game out,” Fennelly said. “In Colorado we had one, tonight we had two, hopefully, the next game we can get to three.”