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Iowa State Women Fall Short in Loss to Hawkeyes

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Wednesday night marked Bill Fennelly’s first defeat to Iowa at Hilton.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Baylor at Iowa State Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa State women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a sluggish 2nd quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes in a 55-61 loss on Wednesday night at Hilton Coliseum. The defeat, the first for the home team in the Cy-Hawk series in over a decade, drops Iowa State to 3-5 on the season. Iowa improves to 9-1.

Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly suffered his first loss ever at Hilton to the Hawkeyes. The Cyclones have lost the last four games and need to use the final three non-conference contests to quickly get things on track before Big 12 play starts on December 28 against Kansas. Bridget Carleton led the way for the Cyclones on Wednesday with 17 points, but the junior was just 3-16 from the floor. Carleton added seven rebounds and six assists. Adriana Camber scored 11 points, and Bride Kennedy-Hopoate had 10 points.

Kennedy-Hopoate scored the first five points for Iowa State to give the Cyclones an early 5-2 lead. The Hawkeyes surged ahead thanks to a couple 3-pointers to take an 8-7 lead with six minutes left in the 1st quarter. A 3-pointer from Rae Johnson against Iowa’s zone defense put Iowa State back ahead at 12-11, as the teams continued trading baskets. Carleton started 1-6 from the floor, but she made two straight to bring the Cyclones to within 16-18 at the end of the quarter. Iowa State struggled from deep in the first 10 minutes, shooting just 2-9 beyond the arc.

The Cyclones went completely dark on offense in the 2nd quarter. It wasn’t until 2:58 left in the quarter that Iowa State finally put points on the board thanks to a three-point play from Kennedy-Hopoate. Iowa State didn’t score the rest of the half. But Iowa had its own scoring troubles, and the Cyclones were still only down 19-26 heading into halftime. Kennedy-Hopoate led Iowa State with eight points at the break. Emily Durr played 17 minutes in the first half and had four rebounds.

Iowa extended its lead to 30-19 early in the 3rd quarter before Camber made a 3-pointer that brought the Cyclones back to within eight points. The Cyclones scored again on a layup from Kennedy-Hopoate, and it looked like the scoring woes from the 2nd quarter were left behind in the locker room. Camber hit another trey to make it 27-32. Following a 3-pointer from Rae Johnson that made it 32-36, both teams struggled to score for a few minutes. A jumper from Meredith Burkhall and another basket from Johnson brought the Cyclones to within a possession at 36-38. A layup from Durr with 1:48 left in the 3rd tied the game briefly at 38-38. Iowa held a 41-38 going into the final 10 minutes.

Early in the 4th quarter, the Hawkeyes took a 46-39 lead thanks to a three-point play from Megan Gustafson, and Bill Fennelly was forced to take a timeout when Iowa got an offensive rebound and put back to go ahead 48-39. Four free throws in a row from Carleton brought Iowa State to within five points at 48-53 with 4:48. With a key 3-pointer from Durr, the Cyclones were down 51-54 with about two minutes to play. Moments later, two more free throws from Carleton made it 53-54 with 1:28 to play, but Iowa responded to go back up three points. Iowa State had a few chances to tie the score in the final minute, but the Cyclones couldn’t take the game to overtime.

Iowa State is back in action on Sunday against North Carolina Central. The noon game is available on Cyclones.tv.