The independent student newspaper of Iowa State and Ames since 1890

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Hannah Belanger lights it up as Iowa State takes down Kansas

Hannah+Belanger+connects+with+a+three+as+she+goes+6%2F10+from+long+range+against+Kansas+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Jan.+3%2C+2023.
Tyler Coe
Hannah Belanger connects with a three as she goes 6/10 from long range against Kansas at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 3, 2023.

AMES — Iowa State opened the home portion of the Big 12 schedule with a 69-61 win over Kansas on Wednesday. The team now sits 2-0 to start conference play after a game where the Cyclones had to claw their way back after the first quarter.

Down 17-8 after the first quarter, Iowa State was missing a spark. The Cyclones turned the ball over six times in the opening 10 minutes and had no rhythm established.

An eight-minute Kansas drought in the second quarter allowed Iowa State to slowly claw its way back in the game. Tied at 24 was where things were headed at the half.

“Offensively, every single kid on our team had at least one turnover at halftime,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “I said ‘Everyone take away one turnover and start shooting the ball.’”

The Cyclones had 11 first-half turnovers but controlled it well in the third quarter. Those possessions led to points, many from beyond the arc.

Leading the offensive charge for the Cyclones was senior Hannah Belanger. Like many of her teammates, Belanger had a quiet first half with just three points.

Belanger would soon find her stride following a three by freshman Arianna Jackson to wake up the offense. On the next trip down, Belanger made a three to extend the Cyclone lead to six.

The two would trade threes again, and then it was all Belanger. Midway through the third quarter, Belanger hit three 3-pointers in a row including a tough and-one play to extend the lead to 15 points.

“It’s awesome, especially when multiple people are hitting,” Belanger said. “It feels like we’re really playing together. We can do some big things I think, and this was just a little glimpse of that.”

Up 11 entering the fourth quarter, Belanger started it strong with a steal and an assist to senior Nyamer Diew for a three. That sequence kept the Cyclones alive long enough to close out the game.

“The little things defensively, taking a charge, getting a steal, that’s a spark that everyone on the team loves,” Belanger said. “When [Diew] hit that shot it was a game-changer.”

Belanger finished as the leading scorer for Iowa State with a new season-high 19 points. The senior shot 6-for-10 from three.

The performance from Belanger allowed her to score her 2,000th career point. Fennelly said scoring is something Belanger has been working on all season.

“[Belanger] was tremendous,” Fennelly said. “That’s an amazing accomplishment. That’s a lot of made shots. She’s worked really hard on it, and it was great to see her have the night she had.”

Belanger led the way on offense, but defensively it was freshman Addy Brown, who once again recorded a double-double. With 14 points and a team-leading 13 rebounds, Brown chalked up her seventh double-double of the season.

“My mom gives me a hard time when I don’t rebound very well, so that’s extra motivation to rebound the ball for sure,” Brown said.

The effort from Brown on defense, and the big third quarter on offense from Belanger and Jackson, allowed the Cyclones to gap the Jayhawks. The swing in momentum led to Iowa State starting conference play 2-0 in a tough Big 12 Conference.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Iowa State Daily
$2800
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of the Iowa State Daily. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, send our student journalists to conferences and off-set their cost of living so they can continue to do best-in-the-nation work at the Iowa State Daily.

More to Discover
Donate to Iowa State Daily
$2800
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Iowa State Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *