Looking to avenge an earlier season loss to the Mountaineers, the Cyclones took to their home floor for senior night. The Cyclones made sure to get all their seniors in the starting lineup, as Madison Wise and Rae Johnson joined Kristin Scott in the fabulous 5. Johnson and Wise had relatively quiet nights, one basket apiece (5 rebounds for Wise, 2 assists for Johnson), but Kristin Scott led the way as she often has in the spotlight. She scored a team-high 18 points on just 11 shots, including hitting 3 of her 5 from outside the arc.
The 18th ranked Mountaineers came into the game having lost just 3 games on the season, but there was a senior night side to Hilton Magic, and they’d have more than their hands full. Iowa State made sure of that early, getting off to a fast start, dropping 26 points in the first quarter. West Virginia was able to keep pace with the lightning offense, though, scoring 24 of their own. Fortunately for the Cyclones, the resistance from the Mountaineers came to a grinding halt shortly after.
West Virginia was able to keep it close for the first part of the second quarter, but after a Kysre Gondrezick layup to tie the game at 30, the Cyclones went on a 16-8 run over the final 5 and a half minutes (all Lexi Donarski, Kristin Scott, and Ashley Joens points) to give the Cyclones commanding momentum as well as an 8 point lead into the break, 46-38.
A very back-and-forth contest in the 3rd already favored the Cyclones with their lead, and it was only accentuated by the run that Iowa State had at the end of the quarter. Madison Wise drained her only 3-point attempt to put the lead back over 10 at 58-47 with just 2:25 to go in the quarter, and the Cyclones only heated up from there. The freshman trio of Emily Ryan, Kylie Feurrback, and Lexi Donarski added 8 more in the closing minutes to extending the lead to 19 before a final second 3-pointer by Jayla Hemingway finally got the Mountaineers back on the board.
The 4th quarter went by relatively uneventfully, the Cyclones holding the lead and doing what they needed to keep the gap at 15 or more, and West Virginia trying desperately to get back in the game. It didn’t help that the Cyclones (with 2 phenomenal plays) managed to foul out Mountaineers’ forward Kari Niblack just 1 minute into the final frame.
All of that, combined with the “back to usual” hot shooting by the Cyclones, the limiting of the turnovers, and the strong rebounding all gelled together perfectly for a 17-point win against, as mentioned before, a West Virginia team that had only lost 3 games previously this season.
Next up for the Cyclones, their regular season finale at home in a rescheduled matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks on March 3rd at 6:30 p.m.
Iowa State Cyclones
West Virginia Mountaineers