Cyclones’ woes persist with loss to Longhorns

AUSTIN, Texas – A field goal drought of more than 6 minutes left the door open for the Texas women’s basketball team to overtake Iowa State for a 71-64 victory in Big 12 Conference play on Sunday afternoon at the Erwin Center.

Three-pointers by Cyclone guard Nikki Moody bookended an 18-5 run for the host Longhorns, who trailed by as many as eight in the second half before surging past ISU with 2:55 to play on a 3-pointer by Brady Sanders.

Iowa State (16-7, 5-7) went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line during the swoon, but it was not enough to stem Texas’ tide. The Longhorns (16-7, 7-4) grabbed a five-point lead and made enough free throws down the home stretch to steal one from the Cyclones.

Moody’s 3-pointer with 46 seconds left – ISU’s first field goal since a Moody triple with 7:09 to play – got Iowa State back to within 66-64, but Texas finished 5-of-6 at the line the rest of the way to secure the victory.

“I thought we did everything we could to hang around and they just certainly made some big plays down the stretch,” ISU coach Bill Fennelly said of the Longhorns. “We competed for 40 minutes and did the best we could. We had a couple of breakdowns defensively, and our trouble all year has been missing some open shots and great chances to keep a lead and stay in the game.”

The Cyclones committed a season-low five turnovers but could not turn the tables offensively. ISU shot 20-for-61 from the field, including 11-of-37 from distance, while getting outrebounded 43-29.

Texas’ bench outscored ISU’s reserves 32-3.

“It was not one of our best games and definitely not, in the first half, one of our best efforts,” said Longhorns coach Karen Aston. “(I’m) really proud of our resilience and our ability to dig quite deep, I thought, with about six or seven minutes left in the game.”

Nneka Enemkpali led Texas with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Sanders added 10 points and seven boards. Empress Davenport came off the bench to contribute 10 points as well for the ‘Horns.

Moody led Iowa State with 19 points before fouling out. Jadda Buckley notched 14 points and five assists, while Seanna Johnson had 13 points and a team-leading nine rebounds.

Hallie Christofferson was limited to nine points on 3-of-15 shooting.

The loss is the third in four games, and the seventh out of the last nine, for Iowa State. The Cyclones have fallen to seventh in the Big 12 standings while Texas, winners of four of its last five, has climbed to fourth in the conference.

The Cyclones try to snap out of their scoring funk when they host Kansas on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. Tip-off is slated for 6 p.m.