Cyclones stomp host Bulldogs
DES MOINES – Four Cyclones scored in double-figures Sunday and the 22nd-ranked Iowa State women’s basketball team used a 14-0 run late in the first half to grab an advantage, never looking back in an 89-47 win over in-state rival Drake in front of 3,241 fans at the Knapp Center.
It was the ninth Cyclone win in the last 10 tries against Drake and the 400th career win at Iowa State for coach Bill Fennelly.
“We are more concerned with being 4-0,” Fennelly said of the milestone. “We were 1-0 today. The kids didn’t know and we didn’t talk about it.
The Cyclones (4-0) hit 48 percent from the floor, buried 12-of-24 from long range and dominated the glass and the paint in the easy win. And all but 15 of their 89 points were scored from the starting five, led by 25 points from Hallie Christofferson.
“Her numbers right now are staggering,” Fennelly said of his star forward. “She scored 25 points on 10 shots. She is maybe the most efficient player we have ever had here. It’s fun to see her do so well in her last year.”
Christofferson was 8-of-10 from the floor, 2-of-4 from 3-point range and 7-of-8 from the line. Freshman Seanna Johnson recorded her first career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Brynn Williamson (14) and freshman Jadda Buckley also contributed (12) to the scoring.
Drake was led by Lizzy Wendell’s 15 points, but the Bulldogs hit just 31 percent from the floor and connected on 8-of-24 from the 3-point line while making three of their five free throws. Drake was called for 22 fouls on its home floor, while Iowa State was whistled for just 12.
“They didn’t get our best shot today, but they exploited some of our weaknesses,” Wendell said. “They are a great team and we just needed to play better.”
Nikki Moody added nine points and seven assists for the Cyclones and Williamson also added eight boards.
A 3-pointer from Kyndal Clark (10 points, five rebounds) kept the Bulldogs within striking distance at 21-17 but the Cyclones (4-0) got production from four different players during a 14-0 run in the final 5:29 of the first half and grabbed a 40-22 lead at the break. ISU never led by fewer than 17 in the second half.
“That run was the game for sure,” Fennelly said. “We are not 40 points better than Drake. Stuff like that happens. These instate games are hard. I am just happy with the performance.”
The Cyclones were 21-of-23 from the line, out-rebounded Iowa State 41-30 and outscored the Bulldogs 28-16 in the paint. Iowa State also scored 22 points off 16 Drake turnovers.
“We needed to put a stop to that run but we just couldn’t hit the open shot,” Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk said. “They are a good team and will take advantage if you don’t stop them.”
The Bulldogs (2-3) play two games next week at Seattle University’s Thanksgiving tournament with their first matchup against Cornell University at 7 p.m. Friday. Drake takes on either Seattle or Coastal Carolina on Saturday. A contest with Idaho State on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. will be the Bulldogs’ next home game.
The Cyclones will head to Las Vegas this weekend to play in the South Point Shootout. They play Eastern Washington on Friday and Auburn on Saturday. Both games start at 9:30 p.m. local time.