The Iowa State women, seeking the school’s first back-to-back road wins over ranked teams, were unable to knock off Kansas State in a 68-80 loss in Manhattan. The Cyclones (13-11, 4-9), as they often have throughout the season, showed promise in spurts on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to take down the No. 25 Wildcats.
While the upcoming schedule offers some opportunities for wins, Iowa State will likely need to run the table in conference play if there’s any hope of returning to the NCAA tournament following last year’s absence.
Emily Durr finished with 20 points on 20 shots, and Seanna Johnson added 17 points. Heather Bowe contributed 10 points.
Iowa State led for the entire 1st quarter until the Wildcats took a 17-16 lead on a three pointer at the very end of the period. The Cyclones quickly retook the lead on a Johnson trey to start the 2nd quarter, which started a furious scoring spree by both teams. The lead exchanged hands multiple times throughout the quarter, and although the Cyclones got up as much five points, the Wildcats rallied to take a 40-37 lead into the locker room. Durr led the way for Iowa State with 14 points in the first half, and Johnson added 10 points.
While Durr was less efficient in the 2nd half, she didn’t cool off immediately after halftime, and another three from the junior guard brought the Cyclones within two points early in the 3rd quarter. Effective ball movement helped Iowa State get the ball inside to TeeTee Starks for a three-point play that made it a tie game at 47-47 midway through the 3rd. Kansas State kept getting a small cushion, but a couple timely jumpers from Meredith Burkhall helped Iowa State stay close. In the final minutes of the 3rd, however, the Cyclones cooled off and gave Kansas State an eight-point advantage heading into the final 10 minutes.
Iowa State started the 4th quarter on the right track with a Bridget Carleton offensive rebound and layup that was followed by a nice drive from Johnson on the next possession. But the Cyclones struggled to contain Kansas State on the other end of the floor, and several early fouls by Iowa State put the Wildcats into the bonus less than four minutes into the quarter.
Several opportunities were available to the Cyclones when Kansas State cooled off, but enough shots didn’t fall for Iowa State in the final minutes. A three from Durr put Iowa State within seven at 65-72 with 3:39 to play, and Johnson made it 68-72 with less than three minutes to go, but that was as close as the Cyclones would get for the rest of the game.
Texas Tech comes to Ames on Wednesday to take on Iowa State. The game starts at 7pm and will be available on Cyclones.tv.