Big shot leads to third round

Jeremy Gustafson

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Angie Welle can’t remember making a bigger shot. At least not in college.

“High school maybe,” she said minutes after her lay-up with :02 left on the clock sent sixth-seeded Iowa State to a 58-56 victory over third-seed Colorado.

Welle followed a missed jumper by Lindsey Wilson, grabbed the offensive rebound, and flung a left-handed lay-in.

“At the time I was like `Oh my gosh, thank God I made it,’ ” Welle said. “I was just praying that I was gonna make this lay-up. I’m still kind of in shock about the whole thing.”

Iowa State (23-7) overcame a nine-point first-half deficit. Both teams shot poorly; the difference was in the second half when Iowa State heated up.

The Cyclones shot a blistering 53.8 percent (14 of 26) while Colorado was mired in a slump, making just 11 of 30 shots and 20 of 57 for the game (35.1 percent.)

Now Iowa State gets a rematch with Baylor, the conference’s second seed. The Lady Bears beat Iowa State 95-91 in Hilton Coliseum on the final day of the regular season. The semifinal game is at 8:30 p.m. tonight.

Iowa State almost didn’t get there.

Colorado (21-9) flustered the Cyclones with early presses that limited outside shots. The Cyclones only attempted four three-pointers in the game, making one. The last time the Cyclones were held to one three-pointer was March 5, 1997 in the Big 12 tournament. Iowa State lost 56-39.

“I think in the second half maybe we just started attacking more and creating,” said Tracy Gahan, who made the lone three for Iowa State. “They had to help more once we got deeper into their defense.”

The teams traded baskets for most of the second half. Iowa State pulled to within four, 38-42, then Wilson hit a two and Gahan followed with another basket. Welle hit two free throws to tie the game.

Colorado jumped back on top on a lay-in by Randie Wirt; then Gahan scored four straight points to give Iowa State its first lead since 19:04 in the first half.

Gahan led the charge, scoring 11 of her 13 points in the second half.

“I couldn’t really get settled in the game in the first half,” said Gahan after making five of eight shots and grabbing five boards in the second half. “I just had to relax a little bit.”

In the end it was the calm, cool and collected Wilson who was asked to take the final shot. Welle made a lay-in to give Iowa State a 56-54 lead, but Iowa native Linda Lapper hit a bank shot to tie the game.

With 33 seconds left, ISU head coach Bill Fennelly put the ball in Wilson’s hands to take the final shot.

“I think I got a pretty good look,” said Wilson, who finished with 14 points. “Angie was just in the right position to get the offensive rebound and made an awesome shot at the end.”

Colorado center Tera Bjorklund, who led the Buffaloes with 13 points stepped up on Wilson on the play, allowing Welle to sneak in for the offensive rebound.

“Luckily it was on the left side so I could use my left hand,” Welle said.

In all, the Cyclones collected 18 offensive boards and out-rebounded Colorado by 19, 43-24. Welle led the way with 15 rebounds.

“Ironically the winning basket was an offensive rebound,” Fennelly said. “It’s probably poetic for the way the game ended. For us anyway.”

Iowa State was lucky to be down by nine points in an ugly first half of play. The Cyclones shot an atrocious 33 percent (8 of 24) and handled the ball even worse as they turned the ball over 12 times.

Colorado didn’t play much better, shooting just 9 of 27 (33 percent), but took advantage of Iowa State’s foul trouble. The Buffaloes made 10 of 12 free throws and led 30-21 at halftime.

The Cyclones played five minutes with Welle who picked up two fouls. Even Wilson picked up a pair of fouls, forcing her to sit the final two minutes of the half.

Welle scored nine points to lead all scorers in the first half. Wilson and Melanie Bremer each had four for Iowa State.

Colorado was led by Mandy Nighingale, who scored all eight of her points on an 8-0 Buffalo run to give them a nine-point lead.

The Cyclones stormed back with a 6-0 run, but Bjorklund and Lappe combined for a 7-0 run to stop Iowa State in its tracks and give the Buffaloes their biggest lead of the half at 10 points, 27-17.

“To be down nine points at halftime and literally fight, scratch and claw the whole way and find a way to win . speaks volumes about the character of our team,” Fennelly said.

Box Score

No. 11 IOWA STATE 58, No. 10 COLORADO 56


Cofield 0-2 0-0 0, Bremer 1-3 2-2 4, Welle 7-13 9-9 23, Wilson 6-13 2-5 14, Gahan 6-13 0-1 13, Junod 2-5 0-0 4, Fox 0-0 0-0 0, Paustian 0-1 0-0 0, Kriener 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 13-17 58.


Scott 1-5 2-2 4, Bohman 3-9 2-2 8, Bjorklund 4-11 5-7 13, Roulier 2-7 0-0 5, Nightingale 4-9 0-1 10, Hartshorn 1-7 1-2 3, Fagan 0-1 0-0 0, Stafford 0-0 0-0 0, Lappe 4-7 3-4 11, Wirt 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 20-57 13-18 56.

Halftime-Colorado 30, Iowa St. 21. 3-Point goals-Iowa St. 1-4 (Gahan 1-2, Welle 0-1, Paustian 0-1), Colorado 3-11 (Nightingale 2-4, Roulier 1-4, Scott 0-1, Fagan 0-1, Lappe 0-1). Fouled out-Bremer. Rebounds-Iowa St. 43 (Welle 15), Colorado 24 (Scott, Bjorklund 5). Assists-Iowa St. 14 (Wilson 7), Colorado 16 (Scott, Nightingale 4). Total fouls-Iowa St. 17, Colorado 17. A-4,715.