A 3rd quarter surge was not enough for the Iowa State women to overcome a poor first half in a Saturday afternoon 69-79 loss to the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, Texas. The Cyclones (12-12, 4-9) were led by Meredith Burkhall, who had 18 points, and a double-double from Bridget Carleton, who finished with 14 points and 19 rebounds.
The Horned Frogs raced to an 8-0 start before Carleton was able to get Iowa State on the board with 5:56 left in the 1st quarter. Similar to its game against West Virginia last Wednesday, the Cyclones were unable to find the basket in the opening minutes. Carleton had the first six points for the Cyclones to keep Iowa State within 6-10 midway through the opening frame. Three-point shooting was the only thing Iowa State did well early in the game, and it seemed the Cyclones might struggle to find success all afternoon in Fort Worth. The Cyclones have been unable to shoot the ball effectively throughout the season, but seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes was equally troubling on Saturday. At the end of the 1st quarter, TCU held a 21-12 lead.
Improved offensive rebounding helped Iowa State earn a couple extra shots to start the 2nd quarter, and the Cyclones were able to get within five points midway through the period. TCU, however, started the quarter hot from three-point range and was able to quickly build back to a 30-20 advantage. Near the end of the half, Iowa State started to limit the turnovers, and Jadda Buckley hit a layup to trim TCU's lead to 27-34 at the break.
Iowa State started the 3rd quarter with a 10-2 run that gave the Cyclones hope and a 37-36 lead. Once Iowa State fought its way back into the game, the Horned Frogs and Cyclones traded baskets and the lead for a majority of the quarter. Iowa State was buoyed by improved shooting and continued discipline to avoid turnovers. As the quarter concluded, the Cyclones once again went a bit cold on offense, and TCU held a 54-51 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Kidd Blaskowsky hit a key three to keep the Cyclones in striking distance to start the 4th quarter. Iowa State couldn't get the stops it needed early in the 4th and struggled to keep pace with the Horned Frogs. Perhaps feeling the pressure of another close road contest, turnover troubles hit the Cyclones at a poor time in the final minutes. With four minutes to play, a three by Emily Durr brought the Cyclones within five points, and Carleton converted on the next possession to bring Iowa State to within 63-67. It was not enough, as TCU quickly extended its lead back to 10 points, and Iowa State was unable to make a final rally in the closing minutes.
Iowa State takes on Texas Tech on Wednesday at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones lost to the Lady Raiders on January 17th in an overtime heartbreaker in Lubbock. Wednesday's tip time is set for 7pm.