It’s time for some Cyclones women’s basketball! The 7th seeded ‘Clones travel to San Antonio (where the whole tournament is held) to take on the 2nd seeded Texas A&M Aggies in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Iowa State goes with the usual Donarski-Feuerbach-Joens-Ryan-Scott starting lineup, let’s roll.
A couple of threes by Emily Ryan and Kristin Scott quickly have the Cyclones up 6-0, meanwhile Texas A&M started 0-7 from the field. They make their next 4 shots to get back into the game, but Iowa State’s hot start from three (6-7 in first quarter) helped build up a 10 point cushion at the end of the first quarter.
The Aggies quickly eliminated that lead, bringing it within 3 just 2 minutes into the second quarter. Once again, the Cyclones are lighting it up from long range and continue to have an answer for every TAMU run. Jordan Nixon did just about everything for Texas A&M in the second quarter, scoring 14 of their 18 points. At the break, ISU leads 35-30.
Another early quarter surge out of the Aggies gives the Cyclones a little bit of a scare, but Ashley Joens and company settle right back in to protect the lead. Iowa State’s lead got up to as much as 12 midway through the third quarter, led by a continued 3 point attack. After 3, ‘Clonies lead 57-48. Put up them 4’s!
Texas A&M starts the 4th quarter on a 6-0 run, making it a 3 point game less than 2 minutes in, but Lexi Donarski connects from long range to kickstart the Cyclones offense in the final stanza. The teams went blow for blow, but the 3 pointers just kept falling for Iowa State, allowing to hold the lead late. The Cyclones struggled midway through the 4th quarter and the Aggies were able to bring it to within 1 with a minute to play. THIS IS MARCH. An and-one for Ashley Joens puts the Twister Sisters up by 4 with 39 seconds to play!
Both teams trade baskets and free throws, but a jump ball gives TAMU the ball with just over 10 seconds to play, Iowa State leads, 75-73. A flagrant foul review had most people freaking out that we would lose in the most Iowa State way imaginable, but Lexi Donarski does not get called for the flagrant. The Aggies score on the ensuing possession, tying it up at 75 with 6 seconds to play.
3.9 seconds remain with the ball under the ISU basket. Ryan inbounds it to Ashley Joens and she
gets fouled misses twice but Iowa State retains possession with 1 second left to play. Ryan gets in into Feuerbach, but the shot is no good. On to OT!
Texas A&M gets their first lead of the game after a 3 pointer on their first possession of the extra period. 4 straight points from Iowa State give them the lead right back, but A&M is able to answer to go up by 1 with 2 and a half to play. A wild sequence featuring 2 huge offensive rebounds by Morgan Kane ends with a Donarski three and has me screaming in my dorm room. Aggies answer to tie. Cyclones gain possession with 34 seconds left. Joens unable to get a good shot off, then Nixon drives coast to coast to hit a game-winner and send the Aggies to their 3rd straight Sweet Sixteen, 84-82.
Twister Sisters played their hearts out, but couldn’t hang on at the end. They bow out at 17-11 with a bright future ahead of them.