Cyclones’ posties pummel Oklahoma
DALLAS – There would not be a second second-half comeback for Oklahoma.
Anna Prins poured in a career-high 32 points and the Iowa State women’s basketball team made its 19-point halftime lead stand up in a 79-60 victory over the Sooners in Sunday’s semifinals of the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship.
Prins’ performance marked the first 30-point game for a Cyclone since Alison Lacey netted 32 at Colorado on Jan. 16, 2010. And it helped Iowa State (23-7) reach the finals of the Big 12 tournament for the first time since 2007.
The Cyclones will face top-ranked Baylor (31-1) after the Lady Bears held off Oklahoma State, 77-69. Today’s title game is at 7 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports Net.
Prins’ previous personal best scoring game was a 25-point effort against Marist in the 2011 NCAA tournament.
Saturday’s performance was a part of Iowa State’s dominant post triumvirate as Chelsea Poppens contributed a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Hallie Christofferson had 10 points and nine boards.
“This win was much like yesterday (against Kansas),” said ISU head coach Bill Fennelly. “Anna played the best game of her career. Anna, Chelsea and Hallie scored 56 points and made 27 rebounds.
“Anna and Chelsea are playing like seniors who are running through the finish line, they won’t coast in. It’s coming together for them.”
Oklahoma, the third seed, overcame a 22-point deficit in the second half of its quarterfinal win Saturday against sixth-seeded West Virginia. The Mountaineers led by 19 at the half, just as Iowa State did on Sunday afternoon inside the American Airlines Center.
But the Cyclones’ lead never dipped below 18 after halftime, thanks to ISU’s post play. Iowa State had a 42-22 advantage in scoring in the paint and had a 49-28 rebounding margin.
“They have a front line that annihilated us,” said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. “They scored 56 poitns from their front line.
“They’re a really, really good basketball team and deserved to win that game.”
Brynn Williamson added a career-high eight assists and Nikki Moody’s seven assists made her the program’s single-season record holder (218). Nicole Blaskowsky chipped in eight points and six rebounds for ISU.
Joanna McFarland and Morgan Hook led the Sooners (22-10) with 12 points apiece, and leading scorer Aaryn Ellenberg was held to 11 points on 3-of-16 shooting.
“We didn’t challenge (Iowa State) the way that we should have,” Coale said. “We started off OK, I thought, hit a few shots. Then we just went bone dry, just like (Saturday) night.
“That’s really, really hard to summon that emotion to get back up that hill again. You need baskets to get some energy, some life, and we couldn’t get a ball to roll in.”
The Sooners were playing in the Big 12 tournament semifinals for the fifth year in a row, but Sunday’s loss was their third consecutive in the round.
Iowa State will be in the Big 12 title game for the first time since falling to Oklahoma in 2007. The Cyclones won the tournament in 2000 and 2001. This will be their first meeting with Baylor in the championship contest.