Strong second half propels Cyclones

AMES – Not even a poor shooting night would slow down Hallie Christofferson Wednesday night.

The Cyclone senior hit just 7-of-21 from the floor but made up for it at the foul line and her 25 points and 12 rebounds led No. 22 Iowa State to an 88-72 victory over South Dakota in front of 9,628 fans at Hilton Coliseum.

The Cyclones led 35-34 at halftime but broke open the game with a big second half. A 21-3 run with the Cyclones leading 57-56 ended up being the difference in the game.

Christofferson was 10-for-10 from the free throw line and collected her second straight double-double and 13th of her career. Nikki Moody also struggled from the floor, hitting 5-of-13 but was 9-of-10 from the line and finished with 20 points and seven assists. Brynn Williamson was the third and final Cyclone to reach double figures as she buried three triples and had 18 points and five boards. ISU was 27-for-31 from the line in the game.

The turning point in the game came at the 8:41 mark of the second half. With ISU clinging to a one-point lead, South Dakota’s Raeshel Contreras was whistled for a technical foul and the Cyclones took advantage. They hit both free throws and that triggered the deciding 21-3 spurt that featured scoring from four different ISU players.

The Cyclones (2-0) shot 47 percent from the floor and were 10-of-19 from distance. South Dakota, which was led by 21 points from Nicole Seekamp, connected on 44 percent from the floor and 7-of-19 from 3-point range.

There were six ties and eight lead changes in the game. ISU battled back from a seven-point deficit in the first half and led by as many as 18 in the second half. The Cyclones held a 40-22 advantage in the paint and scored 17 points off 17 USD turnovers, while turning it over just seven times themselves.

Contreras also scored 15 points off the bench for South Dakota (1-2), while Margaret McCloud added 10 from the reserves. South Dakota’s bench outscored Iowa State’s 32-11 in the loss.

Next up for the Cyclones will be a road game a Cincinnati on Nov. 21. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.