AMES — Kansas played like an NCAA Tournament bubble team.
Fast, loose, at times reckless.
Iowa State played like the second-place team in the Big 12, answering each frenzied run en route to an 83-68 win before a crowd of 10,681 at Hilton Coliseum.
“As a team, I heard someone just say, ‘composure,’ and I think that’s a good word for how we responded,” said Cyclone post Anna Prins, who scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. “It’s really easy to get hyped up in a bad way and I think our team did a good job of staying composed.”
Early in the game, the Cyclones went 6 of 6 from beyond the arc, weathering the Jayhawks’ 60 percent shooting over the first 15 minutes.
Later, ISU converted 16 straight free throws after a wobbly 1 of 4 start from the line.
“A really good night,” said Cyclone coach Bill Fennelly, whose team (20-6, 11-5) notched its second straight 20-win season.
Twice, Kansas (16-11, 7-9) crafted 11-2 runs in the second half.
Each time the Cyclones responded, first with a 13-0 spurt fueled by five points from Hallie Christofferson, then with a game-closing 8-0 splurge keyed by Chelsea Poppens’ six-points and drawn charge.
“Our team has been, guard really hard and hope your offense shows up,” Fennelly said. “Today, it was guard average and our offense wins it for us.”
Poppens achieved her seventh double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Nikki Moody also doubled-up on double digits in points (12) and assists (10).
Christofferson finished with 20 points on 9 of 13 shooting.
“Once we got up, we didn’t stop playing like the first time,” said Christofferson, who’s shooting 57 percent from the field. “We had to play defense even harder.”
About that first time — a 78-75 overtime loss in Lawrence in which the Cyclones blew an 18-point second half lead: Flashbacks didn’t pop into Fennelly’s mind as the Jayhawks tried to mount similar rallies.
“They just kept coming,” Fennelly said. “That’s kind of been their M.O. They’ve been down in a lot of games and obviously we were witness to one of them.”
ISU beat Kansas for the seventh straight time in Ames.
Two Jayhawks — Angel Goodrich and Monica Engelman — combined for 41 points.
All but one Cyclone starter scored in double figures, with the fifth, Brynn Williamson, totaling eight points.“That’s what’s tough,” Jayhawks coach Bonnie Henrickson said. “Those are the best teams, when you can get four or five guys in double figures.”