The Iowa State women's basketball team capped off an outstanding weekend for Cyclone athletics with a 75-67 win on Sunday night against the Drake Bulldogs. This win didn't come nearly as easy as other Iowa State victories over the weekend, and the Cyclones needed a strong 4th quarter to beat the Bulldogs, who are favored to win the Missouri Valley Conference. With the win, Iowa State improved to 3-0 on the season.
Sophomore Bridget Carleton had 19 points, and junior Emily Durr contributed 11 points and three rebounds off the bench.
Iowa State was sluggish early, and the Bulldogs maintained control throughout a fast-paced 1st quarter. Heather Bowe entered the game for Meredith Burkhall just 10 seconds into the contest, and Bowe provided immediate energy off the bench, but she wasn't able to solve some early shooting woes for the Cyclones.
Iowa State started 0-4 from the field before Carleton hit a three to bring the Cyclones within one point. A jumper from Johnson tied the game at 16-16 with 1:40 to go in the 1st quarter, but Drake hit two threes for a 22-16 lead after 10 minutes.
Iowa State, which lost a four-point stunner last year at the Knapp Center, had trouble on both sides of the floor to start the 2nd quarter. Drake opened up a 27-16 lead before coach Bill Fennelly tried to stop the bleeding with a timeout.
Buckley kept things close after the timeout with a three pointer, and Iowa State went with a zone defense to try and slow down the Bulldogs. Drake cooled off some late in the 2nd quarter, and a Durr three pointer brought Iowa State to within 31-34 at the half. Buckley, who scored 25 points against UNI, was just 1-8 from the floor in the 1st half on Sunday, but the junior finished the game with 17 points.
The Cyclones and Bulldogs traded buckets early in the 3rd quarter before Durr was fouled on a three point shot. Durr, a 90 percent free throw shooter, converted on each opportunity to give Iowa State a 43-41 lead, its first of the game. Drake quickly regained a five-point lead of its own that it maintained for a 55-50 lead heading into the 4th quarter.
Bowe was noticeably absent from the floor and the bench in the 2nd half. In his post-game radio interview, Fennelly said she sprained her ankle by stepping on a basketball at halftime. "It makes you sick to your stomach. . . hopefully it's an ankle, and we'll get her back in a week or so," Fennelly said.
In the 4th, Iowa State started off in a zone defense, and the Cyclones got a layup from Buckley, who drew a foul and made the extra free throw to give the Cyclones a 58-57 lead. Halfway through the 4th, Johnson hit a three that put Iowa State ahead by two points, but the Cyclones could not extend that lead. Every time Iowa State got a lead, Drake had an answer. Eventually, Buckley hit a huge three to put the Cyclones ahead 68-65 with under two minutes to play.
When it mattered most, the Cyclones were able to lock down defensively and create a turnover. A layup on the ensuing possession provided a 70-65 buffer for Iowa State. With a few more stops, the Cyclones ultimately closed out the game at the free throw line.
Savannah State comes to town on Tuesday for a 7pm tip against the Cyclones.