In front of a national television audience and over 11,000 fans at Hilton Coliseum, the Iowa State women lost 61-77 to the No. 4 Baylor Bears on Saturday afternoon. Seanna Johnson, who was last year's leading rebounding in the Big 12, went down late in the 3rd quarter in a fall that stunned the Hilton crowd, but the junior guard was able to return with a knee brace in the 4th quarter. Johnson led Iowa State with 22 points on 9-13 shooting. Baylor was able to severely limit Iowa State's offense late in the game, and the Bears eventually cruised to the road victory. The Cyclones shot 40% from three point range, but Baylor finished the game with a 44-24 advantage in the paint.
Iowa State (11-7, 3-4) had been on a 12-game home winning streak, but the Cyclones were unable to put up a serious fight against the Bears. Baylor went inside early on the Cyclones, scoring its first eight points in the paint. With 7:29 left in the 1st quarter, Bridget Carleton took the lid off the hoop for the Cyclones with a baseline three. Kidd Blaskowsky got off to a good start with a three on her first shot to bring the Cyclones within 8-9, and a Johnson bucket halfway through the quarter gave Iowa State its first lead at 10-9. Iowa State, despite Baylor's dominance in the post, looked strong at the start thanks to efficient offense, a couple blocks, and the ability to grab defensive rebounds. Madison Baier contributed early as well, with a bucket that extended Iowa State's lead to 12-9, its biggest lead of the game. Bill Fennelly's squad did a nice job in the 1st quarter limiting the opportunities for Baylor to get transition baskets. Iowa State regularly ran down the shot clock on offense in a quarter that finished with Baylor up 16-14.
The Cyclones tied the game early in the 2nd quarter, but a 10-2 run by Baylor gave the Bears some breathing room. After her initial three pointer, Carleton struggled shooting, missing her next four shots from the floor. In the first half, seven of the eight Cyclones who played were able to score points. Despite distributing the ball, Iowa State did not hit a three pointer and could only muster 12 points in the 2nd quarter. Johnson took over in the last couple minutes of the half, and the junior finished with 12 points in the first 20 minutes, but the Bears took an 11-point advantage into the locker room.
With 7:47 left in the 3rd quarter, Jadda Buckley hit Iowa State's first three pointer since the 1st quarter to bring the Cyclones within eight, and Johnson hit another trey on the next possession to bring the Hilton crowd to its feet. Once Iowa State made its initial spurt in the 3rd, it was a back and forth, high scoring quarter that Baylor was able to emerge from with a 12-point lead. Baylor was efficient on offense and seemed to get an offensive rebound on any possession it failed to score on the first try. With 1:52 left in the 3rd, Johnson went down under the basket while going for an offensive rebound. The junior appeared to heavily favor her knee; she left for the locker room, but eventually returned early in the 4th quarter. Iowa State could not mount a significant rally in the 4th quarter. Johnson headed to the bench after her brief return when the game got out of reach. In the post-game press conference, Johnson said the knee is "pretty good." She said she could have played more in the 4th quarter, but Fennelly benched her as a precaution.
Now on a three-game losing streak, Iowa State will look to get back in the win column against TCU on Wednesday at 7pm at Hilton Coliseum.