Cyclones stamp out UNI early

AMES – Any hopes Northern Iowa had disappeared in the wake of a 16-point Cyclone storm.

The No. 20-ranked Iowa State women’s basketball squad broke free from a 14-all tie with 16 points in a row during the first half of its eventual 83-55 whitewashing of UNI on Wednesday night inside Hilton Coliseum.

Senior Hallie Christofferson scored 13 of her game-high 22 points in the first half, though in just 12 minutes of playing time, and freshman Seanna Johnson had eight points and nine rebounds on her way to her second career double-double.

Johnson finished with 14 points and a career-high 13 boards, and Nikki Moody contributed 16 points and game-highs of eight assists and three blocked shots as the Cyclones blew by their in-state foe.

The two teams were tied at 14-all until Iowa State (7-0) made its move, and the Cyclones took a 43-26 lead into the half.

Northern Iowa (2-6) never led despite its best 3-point shooting night of the season, going 10-for-22 from beyond the arc.

Iowa State, which extended its NCAA record to 588 consecutive games with a 3-pointer, made eight shots from long range and got scoring contributions from nine different players. Christofferson’s 22 points came in just 22 minutes of court time.

“They’re as efficient of an offensive team as I’ve seen in the country,” Northern Iowa coach Tanya Warren said of the Cyclones. “They don’t take bad shots. They would miss a couple but then they would get offensive rebounds.

“When you’re playing against a team as efficient and can score from all five positions as Iowa State can, when you get them to miss you better make sure you secure the rebound because you cannot give them two or three opportunities at it because they’re going to make you pay.”

Iowa State dominated in the paint, outscoring the Panthers 42-16 while converting 17 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points.

Northern Iowa center Jen Keitel played just 15 minutes because of foul trouble, contributing just four points and four rebounds before fouling out with 5:23 left in regulation.

“Every time we play UNI they’re very well prepared, there’s always something they do to us – take away the three, double-team somebody, face-guard somebody,” ISU coach Bill Fennelly said. “(Tonight) they were going to try to take away the 3-point shot, so we said let’s beat them on the bounce and our kids did a good job of that.”

Nicole Blaskowsky came off the bench to pitch in eight points and nine rebounds for the Cyclones, while Brynn Williamson had eight points and eight boards.

South Tama County graduate Madison Baier, a sophomore, added four points and six rebounds in 12 minutes of action for ISU.

Freshman Madison Weekly led the Panthers with 16 points and Brooke Brown had 10, going 3-for-3 from 3-point range.

Amber Sorenson added eight points off the bench for Northern Iowa, which hosts Saint Louis at 2 p.m. Saturday at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls.

Iowa State entertains Cal State-Fullerton on Sunday back at Hilton, also a 2 p.m. tipoff.