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Three Big Takeaways: Iowa State spoils the party, upsets No. 15 Kansas State for season sweep

Addy+Brown+runs+to+the+Iowa+State+bench+after+Baylor+calls+a+timeout+at+Hilton+Coliseum+on+Jan.+13%2C+2024.
Tyler Coe
Addy Brown runs to the Iowa State bench after Baylor calls a timeout at Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 13, 2024.

Iowa State took on No. 15 Kansas State in a highly anticipated rematch, this time on the road. Last time, the Cyclones won in an upset, and this one was no different as Iowa State emerged victorious again, 82-76.

A gutsy performance in the fourth quarter grew the lead for Iowa State. The Cyclones fended off foul trouble and had four players score double-digits to hand Kansas State its first home loss of the season on senior night.

This is Iowa State’s third-straight win and second-straight road win. The victory improves the Cyclones to 17-10 overall and 11-6 in the Big 12, and drops Kansas State to 23-6 and 12-5 with one game to go before the Big 12 Tournament.

Iowa State scores inside, Kansas State scores outside

Kansas State came out with a bang as it nailed a three to begin the contest. The threes would continue to pour in, as the Wildcats shot 6-for-16 from beyond the arc in the first half.

The Wildcats pulled out to a 15-6 lead that included four 3-pointers. Iowa State’s perimeter defense lacked intensity and needed a spark.

That spark for the Cyclones came at the end of the first quarter as senior Hannah Belanger canned the first three of the game for Iowa State. That momentum carried into the second quarter, as the Cyclones went on a 7-0 run, capped off by an Addy Brown three, to take their first lead 20-18 one minute into the second quarter.

Iowa State’s offense started to click inside after the quick run. Freshman Audi Crooks scored all eight of her first-half points in the second quarter, all of which were points in the paint.

While Kansas State outscored Iowa State 18-6 from deep in the first half, the Cyclones controlled the paint 22-12. At halftime, Iowa State and Kansas State were knotted up at 33 points apiece.

Cyclones fend off foul trouble

Two minutes into the third quarter, Crooks was whistled for her third foul. Three minutes later, it was senior Emily Ryan who was called for her third.

The game plan had to shift and others had to take over with two star players in trouble. Junior Isnelle Natabou had to take over in the post while freshman Arianna Jackson and Belanger became the go-to guards.

Ryan would return a few minutes later and immediately made an impact with an assist to Brown. Crooks remained out for the entire quarter after her third foul.

Natabou would soon get her third foul with two minutes left in the third. Freshman Jalynn Bristow came in to provide some offense, with a banked-in three and a basket over Ayoka Lee.

Even with the risk of fouling out, Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly kept Natabou in the lineup. The decision worked out for the Cyclones, as Natabou made a layup at the buzzer to end the third. Iowa State led 56-52 with the fourth quarter on the horizon.

The pressure was put on Iowa State right away in the fourth quarter. A 4-0 Kansas State run in 31 seconds tied the game at 56.

Iowa State did not go away easily. Three-straight baskets from Brown and two more from Ryan allowed Iowa State to build a seven-point lead that later rose to eight with five minutes to go.

Lee, Crooks and Jackson were all called for their fourth fouls in the span of one minute. The three were taken out for a few minutes but returned for crunch time as the clock ticked under two minutes.

Iowa State grabs huge road win in rematch, NCAA Tournament within reach

To beat a top-25 team once is impressive. To beat the same top-25 team twice is rare.

Brown took over in the fourth quarter with 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting. Brown secured her ninth double-double of the season behind a 24-point and 11-rebound performance.

Along with some big threes from Brown, Belanger, Ryan and Bristow connected from beyond the arc as well. Belanger racked up 13 points, Ryan had 11 with nine assists and Bristow was perfect from the field, 3-for-3 with seven points.

Crooks led the charge inside with 14 points and reeled in seven rebounds. Natabou was a factor when Crooks was out, with seven points of her own as the Cyclones won the points in the paint battle 46-28.

Iowa State shot 50% from the field and out-rebounded Kansas State 47-30. The Cyclones took advantage of what worked for them and adapted to the situations presented to pull off another upset win over Kansas State.

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