Down nine points with just two minutes remaining, the Iowa State women's basketball team rallied to reach overtime before falling to Oklahoma State 76-79 on Wednesday at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cyclones competed with the Cowgirls all night thanks to 10 three pointers and 22 points from Seanna Johnson. Despite five players scoring in double figures, Iowa State (11-6, 3-3) could not stop Oklahoma State senior Brittney Martin and sophomore Kaylee Jensen.
Johnson got off to a huge start for the Cyclones, with nine points in the 1st quarter. All of the junior guard's early points came on 3-4 shooting from three point range. Iowa State was able to win the rebounding battle early and limited Martin to just four points in the first 10 minutes, but the star guard got going later in the game and finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Meredith Burkhall, who is now in an increased role with the departure of Bryanna Fernstrom, was able to get five points in an opening period that the Cyclones led 19-13.
Both teams struggled to score early in the 2nd quarter, but the Cowgirls found their stride first and led by as many as five points. Throughout the first half, the Cowgirls dominated the post, where the Cyclones struggled to score and defend. The Cyclones found their own area of the floor to control, however, as they went 6-11 from three-point range in the initial 20 minutes. Iowa State used an 8-0 run in the final minute of the 2nd quarter to overcome the five point deficit and lead 32-29 at the end of the half. Madison Baier logged four minutes in the 2nd quarter and five minutes total. The senior post player, who was injured and thought to be done for the season, will likely see important minutes moving forward to relieve Burkhall and Claire Ricketts.
Emily Durr helped the Cyclones continue the hot streak from three point land to lead 35-31 early in the 3rd quarter. Oklahoma State quickly responded to tie the game at 35 with 7:11 left in the 3rd. It was a back-and-forth quarter in which the Cowgirls improved their shooting and perimeter defense. Despite the single Durr three pointer in the 3rd, the Cyclones converted at the hoop more, got to the foul line, and were able to keep pace with Oklahoma State. A Johnson layup in the final seconds gave Iowa State a 46-42 advantage heading into the final quarter.
The 4th quarter began with the Cowgirls once again catching up to the Cyclones off a Jensen layup. Oklahoma State eventually built a six-point lead with 5:17 remaining in the game. Three pointers, which helped Iowa State hang around with the Cowgirls in the first 30 minutes, simply did not fall in the final quarter until it was almost too late. Bridget Carleton converted a three point play to bring the Cyclones within five points at 52-57, but the Cowgirls quickly responded. Oklahoma State led late in the 4th quarter by as many as nine points, but Iowa State got within three points on a Jadda Buckley trey - her first points of the game - with 40 seconds to play. Then, Kidd Blaskowsky scored her first points on a three pointer to bring Iowa State within one point with 14 seconds left in the game. With under 10 seconds to play and a final chance, Johnson was fouled on a three point shot. The junior sank all three free throws, and Oklahoma State could not make its final shot.
In its second overtime game in four days, the Cyclones built an early lead off a Buckley bucket. The Cowgirls responded with points on three straight possessions for a four point lead. Down one point with two minutes to play, Iowa State had two good looks from three point range that the Cyclones could not convert. Oklahoma State missed free throws that gave Iowa State an opportunity with 22 seconds left, and the Cyclones elected to get a quick layup. Down 76-79 with eight seconds to play, Buckley failed to hit Iowa State's last chance.
The Cyclones begin a crucial three game home stand starting with the No. 4 Baylor Bears at 12:30pm on Saturday. The Bears lost 71-76 to the Cyclones at Hilton last year. This year's contest will be televised on Fox Sports 1.