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Three Big Takeaways: No. 24 Iowa State undefeated no more, falls to Texas Tech

Tyler Coe
Emily Ryan drives the ball against Kansas at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 3, 2023.

After two straight home wins against ranked teams, the No. 24 Iowa State women’s basketball team traveled to Lubbock, Texas, for its only game this season against Texas Tech.

Having not played a road game in over a week, the Cyclones were a little slow out of the gate. Moments of momentum came and faded, with Texas Tech handing Iowa State its first conference loss 71-63.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from the Cyclones’ game against the Lady Raiders:

Runs and droughts hit hard

Basketball is a game of runs, and this game was no different. Iowa State started the game scoreless for the first two minutes which seemed to set the tone for the rest of the night.

The Cyclones found themselves in another drought that lasted four minutes midway through the first quarter. Texas Tech also was held scoreless for two minutes within the Iowa State drought.

Down 13-4, the Cyclones found a little spark, going on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two. The run held the Lady Raiders scoreless for another three minutes before canning a three late in the first quarter.

Texas Tech opened the second quarter giving up a basket but followed with a pair of 3-pointers in a 51-second span. Soon after, the Cyclones had a 6-0 run of their own, leaving the Lady Raiders in another four-minute drought that stretched through the middle portion of the quarter.

A three from senior Emily Ryan, who scored 11 first-half points, gave Iowa State its first lead 29-27 with 92 seconds remaining in the half. In the remaining time, Texas Tech would go on a 7-0 run to take a five-point halftime lead.

With the momentum swinging like a pendulum, both teams felt squarely in the game heading into the second half.

Four Cyclones reach double figures

Ryan gave Iowa State its first points of the game. Ryan entered after the scoreless first two minutes and provided the first spark of the night for the Cyclones.

Attacking the paint, Ryan made some tough layups after getting past defenders. Ryan would finish as the leading scorer for Iowa State with 18 points shooting 8-for-13 from the field.

Once again, Ryan’s minute total increased, this time to 31 minutes. Only senior Hannah Belanger played more minutes than Ryan with 32.

Outside, Belanger was the hot hand for Iowa State. Belanger went 3-for-6 from three and finished with 11 points.

As a team, Iowa State struggled from beyond the arc, forcing plays inside and making Audi Crooks a big part of the offense. Iowa State made seven 3-pointers on 26 attempts, as opposed to Texas Tech who went 13-for-29.

With the threes not falling, the offense looked to Crooks to provide a spark. The reigning Big 12 Player of the Week had 14 points and 12 rebounds

Also making some noise inside was freshman Jalynn Bristow. Back in her home state of Texas, Bristow did not miss a single shot, going 4-for-4 and finishing with 10 points.

Undefeated streak ends

After a week of many accolades and national recognition, a lot of eyes were on the Cyclones to perform again. Iowa State was named the National Women’s team of the Week by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for its wins over No. 24 West Virginia and No. 4 Baylor.

Iowa State was also ranked No. 24 in the latest AP rankings and Crooks took home her first Big 12 Player of the Week Award. Crooks was the first freshman to do so in school history.

The week of causing upsets has ended, and the Cyclones now were on the receiving end of an upset. The loss ends the streak of nine Big 12 wins in a row dating back to the Big 12 Tournament last season, but the season is not over.

Iowa State has now experienced a conference loss for the first time this season. Now, the focus shifts to how the Cyclones will respond.

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