Christofferson, ISU rip UND

AMES – Hallie Christofferson scored a career-high 32 points to go with 11 rebounds as the No. 23-ranked Iowa State women’s basketball team beat North Dakota 84-55 Sunday at Hilton Coliseum in the season opener for both teams.

Iowa State struggled to break away from North Dakota for most of the first half but closed it on a 14-5 run, pushing the halftime lead to 47-35. North Dakota never threatened after the break.

Christofferson, a 6-foot-3 senior, shot 11-for-18 from the field and 7-of-8 at the free-throw line en route to her career-high scoring night.

“That’s the kind of performance that’s fun to watch,” said Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly. “The things she does for this team is really special. We all know how good she is, but it’s nice to see her put up those kinds of numbers so maybe some of the people in the rest of the country can know how good she is.”

“It’s hard to get better than unanimous all-Big 12 but I think she can and I think she made a step toward that tonight,” Fennelly added.

Nicole Blaskowsky scored 14 points and added a career-high 10 rebounds while Nikki Moody added 10 points for the Cyclones. Sophomore center and Tama native Madison Baier came off the bench for a career-high 15 minutes, contributing two points and three rebounds for Iowa State.

Blaskowsky’s points came off the bench as the Cyclones started a pair of freshman guards – Jadda Buckley (Mason City) and Seanna Johnson.

Madi Buck led North Dakota with 16 points, and Megan Lauck scored 13. Mia Loyd led the team with 10 rebounds. North Dakota struggled from the field, shooting only 30 percent.

The win brought Iowa State’s season-opener record to a perfect 19-0 under head coach Bill Fennelly. Game two for the Cyclones comes Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against South Dakota in Ames.