Carleton has record-breaking night in season-opening win


Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State freshman guard Bridget Carleton looks to pass the ball during the game against Hampton on Friday night. The Cyclones won their debut game against the Lady Pirates, 95-59.

Trey Alessio

The ISU women’s basketball team started out the 2015-16 regular season a little slow on Friday night, but with the help of freshman Bridget Carleton, Iowa State cruised past Hampton, 95-59. 

Iowa State only led Hampton by one point at the end of the first quarter, but the Cyclones flipped a switch in the second quarter.

It started on a sequence when senior Kidd Blaskowsky and sophomore Emily Durr knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers. Redshirt sophomore Jadda Buckley capitalized on a bucket midway through the second quarter to give the Cyclones a 30-21 cushion with 5:40 remaining in the half.

In the second half, Carleton put the team on her back. She notched a double-double in the game midway through the third quarter. Carleton finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds. She also had four assists. 

“She really put on a show,” said ISU coach Bill Fennelly. “To get a double-double like that in your first college game means a lot.”

Carleton also added her name to the ISU record books. Her 28 points set a freshman debut record, breaking Bryanna Fernstrom’s 25-point mark set last season.

“It was fun,” Carleton said. “It’s always fun playing at Hilton and getting the first game under our belt was exciting.”

Carleton made an immediate impact on the court for the ISU women’s basketball team, but she attributed a lot of her success to her teammates.

“My teammates were huge. They were as much of a factor as I was. They created openings for me,” Carleton said. “They were really helpful.”

As Carleton began to catch fire, it was evident that the rest of the team was able to feed off of that fire. Four other players scored in double digits on Friday, and most came after Carleton lit the spark for the Cyclones.

“We always say, ‘Whoever’s hot, get them the ball,’” said junior Seanna Johnson, who had a double-double of her own. “With [Carleton getting hot], it helped us get open shots. If they were to guard [Carleton], other people were open.”

Consistency remains one of the few questions with Carleton going forward. 

Carleton scored 19 points and snagged five rebounds in Iowa State’s first exhibition game Thursday but struggled in the second one, only scoring six points.

In that game, Carleton went 0-for-7 from the field and 0-for-4 from behind the arc. However, in the regular season opener, she turned it on.

“The number one thing I tell all of our players after the first game of the season is always the same thing: Iowa State won the game,” Fennelly said. “We’re all going to have good days. We’re all going to have bad days. The most important thing is about we not me.”

Friday was a good day for Carleton and the rest of the team, and Fennelly is just happy she’s in a cardinal and gold uniform. 

“I’m just glad she’s here,” Fennelly said.