Cyclones comeback falls short against Drake, Bulldogs offense catches fire


Inés Nezerwa surveys the court after a whistle against the Southern women’s basketball team on Nov 7.

Sam Stuve

Seeing as how the last two matchups between Iowa State and Drake have gone-with both teams scoring 80 or more- the Cyclones knew it needed to put up a lot of points to defeat the Drake Bulldogs on Sunday at the Knapp Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

While the Cyclones did score more than 80, but in a losing effort. Even after coming back from 17 points down midway through the third quarter, the Cyclones couldn’t make the defensive stops necessary and the Bulldogs escaped with an 86-81 victory over the Cyclones.

“We got way down, got back in the game and had a chance, but we had to make one more stop or one more play,” said coach Bill Fennelly. “That’s life on the road.”

Iowa State falls to 1-1 and Drake improves to 2-0 this season.

Redshirt senior Sara Rhine led Drake in scoring with 26 points and junior Becca Hinter and senior Maddie Monahan added 13 points each.

As a team, Drake shot 48.3 from the field, 44.1 percent from beyond the three-point line and 70 percent from the free-throw line.

Drake shot lights-out from beyond the three-point line, making 15 threes on 34 attempts.

“They had some kids make some big shots who haven’t historically,” Fennelly said. “That’s a credit to them, that’s what good teams do when they need to.”

Iowa State got off to a hot start offensively, making eight shots on 12 attempts from the field, three out of four from beyond the three-point line and four for four from the free-throw line. Iowa State held a 23-19 lead over Drake at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter is where things began to go downhill for the Cyclones. The Bulldogs outscored the Cyclones 20-11 and took a 39-34 lead at halftime.

“[In the second quarter] our shot selection wasn’t the best and I thought offensive rebounding wise we struggled,” Fennelly said.

Drake began the third quarter on a 13-4 run thanks to three three-pointers and two shots inside the three-point line. Drake’s run continued as it took a 57-40 lead with 4:30 left in the third quarter.

After this point, the Cyclones comeback began as they trimmed the lead to eight by the end of the third quarter at 64-56. In this four and a half minute stretch, Iowa State forwards sophomore Ashely Joens and senior Ines Nazerwa combined for 11 points.

Up until this stretch, Joens only made one shot out of seven shots taken. Drake’s head coach Jennie Baranczyk points to her team’s rebounding as to why Joens didn’t score that many points until the second half. Joens had zero rebounds in the first half.

“We did a good job in the first half of keeping her off the boards…we did not do that in the second half,” Baranczyk said.

In the fourth quarter, the Cyclones trimmed the Bulldogs less than three points four times, but the Bulldogs responded by scoring points.

Drake led 78-75 with two minutes left when Iowa State center Kristin Scott appeared to be hit on the arm as she was taking a shot, but no foul was called and then Hittner drilled a three to extend Drake’s lead to 81-75 with 1:42 left to play.

Scott responded by nailing a three-pointer to cut the Cyclones to five, but Hittner made a layup for the Bulldogs. Scott made yet another three-pointer, her fourth of the game, to make 85-81 with 16 seconds remaining. Monahan sank one free throw for the Bulldogs and the Cyclones couldn’t get off another shot, resulting in an 86-81 defeat to the Bulldogs.