Three Takeaways: Unheralded scorers, Burkhall’s big quarter, and a complete win

Freshman Madison Wise recovering a fumbled ball from the TCU Horned Frogs and turning it around for the Cyclones at the Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 30.

Noah Rohlfing

A dominant second-half performance and some big games from unheralded players helped Iowa State bludgeon Kansas State 80-45 on Saturday night.

The Cyclones were in control of every facet of the game, winning the rebounding battle, hitting 15 3-pointers and holding the lead for 39 of the game’s 40 minutes.

Iowa State had its best offensive showing of the Big 12 season despite junior guard Bridget Carleton and senior guard Emily Durr shooting a combined 8-of-23 from the floor for 20 points.

Here are the takeaways from the Cyclones’ victory.

Camber and Wise step up

All week, the main question coming from coverage of the Cyclones was centered on finding a third option behind the now-prolific combo of Bridget Carleton and Emily Durr.

In the two games since the win over Oklahoma State, no one other than Carleton or Durr had scored more than eight points in a game (freshman guard Madison Wise against Texas). Saturday night, though, Wise and sophomore forward Adriana Camber stepped up in a big way.

With the Wildcats running a triangle-and-two defense and attempting to nullify the impact of Carleton and Durr, Camber and Wise found themselves open often with chances from 3-point range. The two combined to shoot 10-for-17 from three, and after three quarters the duo had combined for 30 of the Cyclones’ 61 points.

Camber finished with a career-high 21 points, Wise added 17, and the Cyclones ended up having four players in double figures.

Wise and Camber are two of Iowa State’s best shooters, but recently, they’ve been missing opportunities to contribute. Neither Wise nor Camber had hit double figures since Wise scored 17 at Texas Tech on Jan. 13.

By breaking out of their respective slumps to lead the Iowa State to a huge win, Camber and Durr showed that the Cyclones’ offense can still run smoothly even when both Carleton and Durr have quiet nights.

Burkhall’s third quarter run

Iowa State’s junior forward Meredith Burkhall has had a rough season. Only averaging 6.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, the Urbandale, Iowa, native is not taking the step up that some were expecting.

Burkhall got the start against Kansas State, her 15th start of the year. She had only four points in the first half but finished the first 20 minutes only one rebound shy of her career high with 11. It was the third quarter, though, that made Burkhall’s performance her best of the season.

Burkhall caught fire in the last five minutes of the quarter, scoring 12 straight points for the Cyclones and hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, only her second three of the year. She went 4-for-5 from the field and hit three free throws, extending the Cyclones lead from 49-36 to 61-38 and essentially sealing the Wildcats’ fate.

Burkhall finished the night with 20 points and 13 rebounds, notching her fourth career double-double. Burkhall may be having a down year, but she’s a talented basketball player and coach Bill Fennelly will be hoping that he can get the best out of her heading into next season.

Road win and a complete performance

Who says that road games are more difficult than home games?

Iowa State is loving life on the road as of late, winning three of their last four away from Hilton. The Cyclones are 3-3 in road games in the Big 12 and only 1-5 at home, after winning only one game away from home in non-conference play.

In fact, the Cyclones’ last two road wins have been their best performances of the season, and on Saturday the Cyclones put together a masterclass on both ends of the floor.

Kansas State’s 45 points was the fewest points the Cyclones have allowed in Big 12 play since holding Oklahoma State to 42 points on Jan. 2, 2016. Iowa State held the Wildcats to 24.6 percent shooting and won the rebounding battle 55-37. Four Cyclones players had eight or more boards.

The Cyclones shared the ball at a high level on the offensive end. Every Iowa State player assisted on at least one basket, and Emily Durr finished with a career-high 13 assists (and no turnovers). The Cyclones had four players reach double figures for the first time all season, and Wise, Camber, and Burkhall all had 17 points or more.

This was Iowa State’s most complete performance of the season and even more impressive than the Jan. 24 win at then-No. 19 Oklahoma State, given the way Iowa State outclassed the Wildcats on their home floor from start to finish.

The Cyclones have another road victory to build on heading into the season’s last six games and a full week to prepare for No. 21 Oklahoma State’s visit to Hilton on Feb. 10.