Buckley breathes life into ISU

NORMAN, Okla. – Just getting to overtime after blowing a 10-point lead, the Iowa State women’s basketball team felt relieved.

The No. 14 Cyclones took advantage of the new opportunity, putting away No. 25 Oklahoma for an 82-75 victory in Sunday’s Big 12 Conference game inside the Lloyd Noble Center.

ISU freshman guard Jadda Buckley scored 22 of her career-high 29 points in the second half and overtime, including a 3-pointer that put the Cyclones ahead for good with 3:23 left in the extra stanza.

Buckley finished 9-for-10 from the field, 6-for-7 from 3-point land and 5-of-6 at the free-throw line to lead the undefeated Cyclones (13-0, 2-0) to the best start in school history.

“Jadda Buckley was fantastic as a true freshman in only her second Big 12 game,” said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale. “It was just a really gutty, competitive performance and I think she was terrific.”

A Buckley trey put Iowa State out front 62-52 with 6:19 left in the game, but the host Sooners (10-5, 1-1) came clawing back. Morgan Hook scored nine of her season-high 26 points from that point on, and Sharane Campbell’s steal and layup with 26 seconds left put Oklahoma ahead, 69-67.

Hallie Christofferson came up empty on her tying shot attempt but Nikki Moody pulled down the offensive rebound. She was fouled with 6 seconds showing and made both free throws to help force overtime.

“I felt pretty good because we got it to overtime,” said Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly. “We were not very good down the stretch and we didn’t execute very well, and (Oklahoma) made some big plays.

“When we got to overtime I think we were more relieved. We probably got lucky. We had the game won, we gave it away, and (credit Oklahoma’s) effort too.”

Oklahoma lost Aaryn Ellenberg to her fifth foul with 1:22 to go in regulation, and the Sooners struggled to run offense without her. Ellenberg, who is six points shy of reaching 2,000 for her career, tallied just 10 points as the Cyclones made her the focal point of their defensive strategy.

“Take Aaryn off the court, that’s a big loss for them and everyone knows that,” said Fennelly. “They were a little more searching for offense than we were in the overtime and probably that was the biggest difference.”

Christofferson finished the game at the free-throw line, ending up with 23 points with an 8-of-9 effort at the stripe. Moody added 13 points and Nicole Blaskowsky came off the bench to pitch in three 3-pointers for nine points.

Behind Hook’s season-high 26, Campbell added 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds in a game that featured 10 ties and 11 lead changes.

“We’ve done a lot of good things. We’ve won all the games we played, we won our state championship, we won at TCU, (but) this was a measuring stick for us,” Fennelly said. “Because if you come here and win, you’re doing something right, and that was our message all along with the team.”

The Cyclones return home from a two-game road trip to open Big 12 play and will host Texas Tech on Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum in Ames.