Women’s team overcomes Cowgirls in final 3 minutes

Matt Gubbels

The ISU women’s basketball team responded in dynamic fashion to a home loss Wednesday at the hands of Kansas State with a hard-fought 62-57 win over 15th-ranked Oklahoma State on Sunday.

The Cyclones (16-8, 5-6 Big 12) used a balanced scoring attack to get a big lead over the Cowgirls (20-4, 8-3) and were able to withstand a late barrage from Oklahoma State to pick up the win.

Sophomore Alison Lacey led the Cyclones with 15 points, including three free throws to put the game on ice. She was joined in double figures by junior Heather Ezell and freshman Kelsey Bolte, with 12 points each, and junior Amanda Nisleit, with 11 points.

The Cyclones were also able to hold Big 12 Player of the Year candidate Andrea Riley to 18 points – eight points below her average in Big 12 play – on 7-of-18 shooting. Riley also missed two free throws in the final three minutes with the game tied.

Iowa State opened the game on fire, hitting four threes in the first eight minutes to take a 14-3 lead. Oklahoma State cut the lead to three, but the Cyclones answered with five more threes to extend their lead to 14. Kelsey Bolte sent the game into halftime at 34-23 with a layup with the clock running down.

The Cowgirls, however, were determined to not lose on their home floor, coming out of the break with a 17-4 run to cut the lead to 40-38 with 10:56 to go.

The game went back and forth from that point, with Shaunté Smith tying the game at 52 with a basket at the 3:57 mark. Maria Cordero scored to give Oklahoma State its first lead with 2:18 left, but the Cyclones hit eight of 10 the rest of the way to get their second road win over a ranked team this season. Ezell hit a pair to give the Cyclones the lead for good with 41.1 seconds left on the clock.

The Cyclones return to the court against 19th-ranked Texas A&M on Wednesday in College Station, Texas, at 7 p.m.