A home game in Hilton never felt so good. After a trio of road games (and a TCU forfeit) the Cyclones finally returned home for a date with the Cowgirls who are floating in the middle of the conference, right around .500.
The Cyclones were clearly quite excited to be back in their home as they kicked off the scoring with a 9-0 run over the first near four minutes of the game. They extended that lead to 12-2 after a Hanna Belanger triple at the 6:00 mark. Oklahoma State wasn’t going to go away that easily, though, as they answered the opening explosion with an 11-3 run capped off by an Emilee Ebert three-pointer with just over a minute to go in the quarter. Jalynn Bristow got the Cyclones back up 18-13 with a nice and-one bucket to close it out, and the Cyclones took the five-point lead into the second.
Iowa State maintained and even slightly built on their lead over the course of the second quarter. A fun quarter to watch, that included four straight possessions with a three-pointer made (a pair from each team.) The expanded it all the way up to nine at 32-23 after an Audi Crooks layup with about 2:00 to go in the half. Crooks really made her presence known this quarter as she collected eight of the Cyclones’ fourteen points in the ten minutes of game time. A quick 5-0 run by Oklahoma State got the lead down to four at 32-28 as Anna Gret Asi made a late three-pointer to cap off a back and forth second quarter.
The Cowgirls continued to pressure the Cyclone lead after the break, as they rattled off a quick 7-2 run to take their first lead of the game at 35-34 with an Anna Gret Asi layup at the 7:47 mark of the third quarter. The teams then traded baskets and stops for then middle part of the quarter as the Cowboys got to their largest lead of the game at 47-42 with another Gret Asi triple at the 3:26 mark. The Cyclones needed an answer, and they turned to their three most important players on the year to do it. Audi Crooks, Addy Brown, and Emily Ryan scored and assisted on all ten of the final points in the quarter as the Cyclones answered their largest deficit with a massive run to once again take a five-point lead at the end of the third, 52-47.
Crooks, Brown, and Ryan continued their incredible night into the fourth quarter when Iowa State needed it most. With a chance to put the game away, the Cyclones turned to their playmakers and boy did they not waste the opportunity. Crooks and Ryan combined for twenty of the twenty-six points in the fourth quarter (a pair of Arianna Jackson long balls as icing on the cake) as the Cyclones never looked back from their lead, extending it all the way to sixteen at 76-60 with an open three-pointer. Iowa State was able to close it out down the stretch with a 78-67 win. Audi Crooks capped off a spectacular night with a career-high 29 points on 67% shooting. Brown added 14 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists, and Emily Ryan added 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 14 assists (fourth most in her career, most since her career-high of 17 in Ft. Worth in a 93-70 win over TCU in 2022.) Yet another second half comeback at home for the Twister Sisters.