Iowa State squanders chance to take lead in fourth quarter of Cy-Hawk loss

Iowa State then-junior guard Rae Johnson drives to the hoop in Iowa State’s game against Iowa on Dec. 11.

Jack Shover

For the fourth-straight win in the series, Iowa took the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk game 75-69 with the Cyclones losing at home in Hilton Coliseum on an emotional day for coach Bill Fennelly. Fennelly’s father passed away Wednesday, and a moment of silence was held before tip-off. 

Iowa State had a chance to take the lead and game at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the Cyclones lost their momentum gained during a late third-quarter run, which allowed the Cyclones to tie the game.

The Iowa senior class of Makenzie Meyer, Kathleen Doyle and Amanda Ollinger is the first to win four straight against the Cyclones since the early 1990s. Meyer finished with 18 points, five assists and five rebounds; Doyle had 21 points, five rebounds and three assists; and Ollinger had only two points but 20 rebounds.

“They are a senior-dominated team that played like seniors,” Fennelly said. “They have senior guards that gave us a lesson tonight. Amanda Ollinger rebounded everything she needed to get.”

The first half was defined by each quarter, with Iowa State outshooting the Hawkeyes and up 14-11 at the end of the first, but the second quarter allowed the Hawkeyes to gain a lead capped by an 11-0 run and 36-29 lead at half.

Ashley Joens said throughout the game, the Hawkeyes played tough defense on the Cyclones and were constantly getting up on players with the ball.

The Hawkeyes shot 75 percent from the floor (3-5 from three) in the second quarter, with the team taking a lead.

Iowa then led for the duration of the third quarter before Iowa State’s offense in transition jump-started a Cyclone run.

After a steal by the Cyclones in their defensive half, Cyclone point guard Rae Johnson pushed the ball up the court and found Joens streaking down the lane. Johnson made the pass to Joens, who sealed off the defender for an easy layup to cut the Hawkeye lead to 45-39.

The following Iowa possession, the Hawkeyes turned the ball over again and Iowa State set up its offense in the half court. After a series of quick passes by the Cyclones, which had the Hawkeye defenders moving out of position, Johnson again found Joens for a bucket, with Joens cutting to the basket on the backside to cut the Hawkeye’s lead to four.

Iowa’s Meyer then hit a three, but Iowa State responded with a transition three from Johnson to make the Iowa lead 48-44.

Joens then had a putback on the offensive glass to cut the Hawkeye lead to two points and on the inbound pass after the score, Iowa turned over the ball — which gave the Cyclones a chance to score right under the basket.

With eight offensive rebounds during the game, Joens said she wanted to battle for the offensive glass to try to give the team a second scoring opportunity.

On her shot, Joens was fouled and sent to the line, where she made both of her shots to tie the game 48-all at the end of the third quarter.

Overall, the Cyclones outscored the Hawkeyes 19-12 during the third quarter.

With a chance to take the lead for the first time since there was 8:43 left in the second quarter, Iowa State’s starting lineup consisted of guards Johnson, Joens, Adriana Camber and Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw, with only Kristin Scott being a true post player.

Iowa had two true posts in at any given time for most of the game, and at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Hawkyes took advantage of the size advantage.

Iowa’s Monika Czinano used her size in the paint to score over smaller defenders, accounting for Iowa’s first four points scored during the run. Guard Tomi Taiwo scored a three to force a timeout by Fennelly and subsequent personnel change, with post Ines Nezerwa entering the game for Camber — but the change came too late.

Nezerwa said the team had its chance after the end of the third quarter and needs to be tougher in the future. Nezerwa finished with her first double-double (18 points and 10 rebounds).

During the seven-point run, Fennelly said the Cyclones made a wrong decision on a pass on the first possession, then missed back-to-back layups and then the team was confused on two-straight inbounding plays.

“Next thing you know you are down seven and now it’s a struggle to go from there,” Fennelly said.

Iowa State lost all momentum it gained at the end of the third quarter and wasn’t able to tie the game or take a lead — only cutting it to as close as four during the game’s waning last minutes to give Meyer, Doyle and Ollinger their fourth-straight win against the Cyclones.