The Iowa State women got a much-needed 75-69 win over No. 22 Kansas State on Saturday night at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones (11-8, 2-6) once again gave up a late lead, but this time Iowa State persevered and finished strong at the end of the 4th quarter.
The win could spark a turning point in the season for the Cyclones, who have suffered several heartbreaking losses to start Big 12 play.
A crowd of more than 11,000 saw Jadda Buckley lead the way for Iowa State with 21 points. Bridget Carleton scored 14 points, Seanna Johnson had 13 points and 8 rebounds, and Meredith Burkhall finished with 10 points.
Kansas State drew first blood, but the Cyclones went up 6-4 on a Carleton three. Later in the quarter, after being down 6-10 and failing to make a field goal for nearly four minutes, Iowa State tied the game at 10-10 on a Buckley jumper. As the quarter concluded, the Cyclones got a layup from Burkhall and finished the first 10 minutes knotted up with the Wildcats at 14-14.
A 12-4 run to start the 2nd quarter gave Iowa State a 26-18 advantage before Kansas State was forced to take a timeout. The fantastic quarter continued for the Cyclones when Carleton hit a trey with 3:26 to play in the half. Before heading to the locker room, Claire Ricketts converted on a three-point play that gave Iowa State a 34-26 lead.
Early in the 3rd quarter, Kansas State got within six points several times. The Cyclones were able to hold off the Wildcat advance until the visitors went on a 7-0 over just two minutes to get within 44-45 with 2:06 to play in the quarter. Throughout Big 12 play, the Cyclones have let late-game leads slip away, but Buckley hit a three and helped limit the damage from the KSU run to give Iowa State a 48-44 lead with 10 minutes to play.
The Wildcats tied the game at 48-48 to start the 4th quarter, but the Cyclones went on a 5-0 run to rebuild a lead at 53-48. Iowa State continued to show resilience and got up 57-51 on a Johnson jumper, but, once again, the Wildcats clawed back to take a 58-57 lead with 5:19 to play.
Perhaps there was some Magic in the Hilton air on Saturday, and the Cyclones certainly needed it. Heather Bowe got a steal and a put back under the ISU basket that put the Cyclones up 62-58, and it appeared Iowa State might finally avoid another devastating collapse. Up just 64-62 with less than three minutes to play, Carleton hit a huge three to put Iowa State ahead by five points. The Wildcats then got as close as three points, before Buckley, one of the best free throw shooters in the country, hit two from the line to give Iowa State another two possession advantage.
Kansas State wouldn’t go away quietly. With less than 30 seconds to play, the Wildcats hit a three to get within two points, but Buckley once again converted at the free throw line. The Wildcats got as close as 69-71 on another made jumper, but the visitors were unable to score again, and Iowa State secured the win at the free throw line.
Iowa State travels to Oklahoma for a game in Norman on Wednesday at 7pm. The Cyclones fell to the Sooners at Hilton 57-67 less than two weeks ago.