Bolte’s scores career-high 28 in rout of Florida A&M

Dan Tracy

ISU senior guard Kelsey Bolte has scored 1,266 points in her career as a Cyclone but never more in one game than she did on Wednesday night.

Behind Bolte’s career-high 28 points, the Cyclones kicked off the Cyclone Challenge with an 85-60 victory over visiting Florida A&M. Bolte, the Big 12 leader in three point field goal percentage, also drained a season-high seven three-pointers in the game.

“I felt pretty good on the three-point line and I guess I didn’t know that that was my career-high but hey, I do now and it feels good,” Bolte said. “[Junior point guard] Lauren [Mansfield] did a great job of getting me the ball and finding me on the floor so it feels good to be able to hit that many threes and hopefully we can keep that consistent.”

Mansfield, the Big 12 leader in assists with 6.4 per game, logged a season-high in rebounds with seven and led the team with 10 assists.

“Obviously Kelsey helps my assists a lot so I look for her a lot and just for the open player,” Mansfield said.

The Cyclones (9-2) hit on 45 percent of their shots from both the field and from three-point range.

“When Kelsey Bolte is making shots the way that she was making them early and with Lauren running our offense we were really good,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. “Right now when [Kelsey] plays well we’re hard to beat.”

Bolte started the game by draining a three-pointer 13 seconds in and the Cyclones’ lead would not be relinquished. Iowa State only hit two of their first 10 shots but made all six of their free throw attempts as they took an 11-5 lead. Then following a layup from ISU sophomore center Anna Prins the Cyclones hit on 13 of their next 15 shots en route to a 38-15 lead.

“We kept shooting and shooting pretty well and once you get on a roll it really helps and everyone’s confidence is up, it’s exciting,” Mansfield said.

The Cyclones shot 54.8 percent from the field in the first half and made seven of their 14 shots from behind the arc in the first half, led by Bolte who made five.

The Lady Rattlers would cut the 21-point halftime deficit to 16 with 13:13 left in the game but that would be as close as they would come to the Cyclones as Fennelly’s squad held on for the victory.

ISU freshman forward Hallie Christofferson chipped in with 10 points and seven rebounds and sophomore forward Chelsea Poppens tied her season-high with ten rebounds. However, it was the easy shots around the basket that irked Fennelly throughout the game. Iowa State came out with a 25-point victory but Florida A&M outscored the Cyclones in the paint 28 to 26 and the Cyclone post players went a mere 11 of 26 from the field.

“I’m very concerned that we can’t finish around the basket, we’re missing way too many shots around the basket,” Fennelly said. “The bottom line is you’re a Division I basketball player and as a post player you have to make a lay-up and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but that’s a fact.”

The Lady Rattlers were only the third team to score 60 points on the Cyclones this season with the other two teams — Iowa and West Virginia — coming out victorious against Iowa State.

“It wasn’t the kind of defensive effort we needed but we won the game,” Fennelly said.

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe made only one of eight three-pointers in the first half and only six of 26 in the entire game. Tameka McKelton and Antonia Bennett led the Lady Rattlers with 22 and 20 points respectively.

The Cyclones will be back in action against Prairie View A&M on Thursday at 7:30 p.m at Hilton Coliseum. The Panthers (4-6) fell to East Carolina in the first game of the Cyclone Challenge on Wednesday night 68-55.