Iowa State routs Cal State Northridge, improves to 8-2

ISU senior Kelsey Bolte launches a three-point shot in the second half of Monday’s game against Cal State Northridge. Bolte hit four three-pointers to help the Cyclones defeat the Matadors 93-47. Photo: Dan Tracy/Iowa State Daily

Dan Tracy

Cramming for Finals Week and preparing for their holiday break didn’t faze the Cyclones as they defeated their second consecutive opponent by 46 points, running away with a 93-47 victory over Cal State Northridge. With the win, the Cyclones end the first third of their season with an 8-2 record.

“Every coach worries a lot about this game right before the holidays and I was very proud of our team,” said coach Bill Fennelly. “We completely understood the competition level but the one thing we talked a lot about is [to not] be average.”

The last time the Cyclones would see the word average would before the game when Fennelly displayed it in the locker room. Scoring 22 of the game’s first 25 points, Iowa State’s offense, led by junior point guard Lauren Mansfield, shot 63.6 percent from the field in the first half as they took a 51-15 lead into the intermission.

“I feel like we are getting better offensively and are getting through our plays against these easier teams which is going to help us in the future when we play harder teams,” Mansfield said.

Mansfield dished out nine assists in the first half with 11 points apiece coming from freshman forward Hallie Christofferson, sophomore forward Chelsea Poppens and senior guard Kelsey Bolte.

“At halftime it was fun to not have to worry about what was going to happen in the second half except for managing people’s minutes,” Fennelly said.

Fennelly and the ISU coaching staff used the second half to get some valuable minutes for the Cyclone bench. Highlighting those bench minutes was freshman guard Elly Arganbright. The Panora native had missed her first six shots of the season in 21 minutes on the floor until Monday night when she knocked down three of four shots from the field and two three-pointers on her way to a nine-point evening.

“It’s always good to play and when the shots go in, it makes it better,” Arganbright said.

Arganbright’s roommate, Poppens, also finished the night with her season-high in points and was the leading rebounder for the Cyclones who outrebounded the Matadors 53-24.

“I think the energy she brings to the building is good,” Fennelly said of Poppens. “When you get six offensive rebounds I don’t care who you’re playing against, that’s about effort.”

Poppens finished the game with 15 points and three defensive boards to go along with her six on the offensive end. Also finishing with double-digit points for the Cyclones were Bolte with 16, Christofferson with 14 and sophomore forward Amanda Zimmerman with 11.

Leading the Matadors and all scorers was Jasmine Erving, who finished with 21 points and six rebounds. The loss drops the Matadors and first-year coach Jason Flowers to 0-12 on the season.

“I feel like everyone was a lot more relaxed, it was a really good environment and we really just wanted a good win going into Christmas,” Mansfield said. “I think we did that and I think we can go into break with positive attitudes.”

The Cyclones will be back in action when they host Florida A&M on Dec. 29 in the first game of the Cyclone Challenge. Iowa State will also play Prairie View A&M on Dec. 30. Both games are scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip.