AMES — The Iowa State women’s basketball team trailed by 26 points with 4:04 left in the second quarter.
It would’ve been easy to fold and pack it in.
Iowa State didn’t do that.
The Cyclones stormed back, scoring 30 points in the third quarter. Iowa State cut the lead to just one point, 59-58, early in the fourth quarter. Iowa State hung tough the remainder of the game — staying within six points — but couldn’t quite ever get over the hump.
The Cyclones’ spirited comeback bid came up short and Iowa State (10-14, 4-9 Big 12) lost to No. 22 Oklahoma State, (18-6, 9-4 Big 12) 81-73.
“It’s tough to spot someone a 26-point lead and expect to have a chance,” Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly said. “But our kids competed, I’m very proud of our effort. We had a great chance at the end. Great effort to get us back in the game, unfortunately, we couldn’t make enough plays on the defensive end to get one more stop to get us over the hump.”
Junior Bridget Carleton didn’t have her usual big game, scoring just 13 points, but Madison Wise and Emily Durr stepped up for the Cyclones.
Wise, a freshman, had 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. She also added nine rebounds and two assists.
“That’s what Madison can do, she can really kill you from behind the arc, she can rebound — she’s a versatile player,” Carleton said. “That’s exciting, she’s only a freshman so the sky’s the limit. She works so hard every day, so she’s going to get so much better and she’s already this good. I’m excited to play with her and see how she grows as a player and a person.”
Fennelly sees Wise getting better as well.
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“She’s going to be a very good player here,” Fennelly said. “Arguably, in the last two games, she’s been the best player on the court for us. That’s encouraging.”
Durr scored 19 points and had four assists. She was aggressive getting to the basket, shooting 10 free throws and connecting on nine of them.
“Emily’s a senior and the clock is ticking on her,” Fennelly said. “I think she’s bought in to try and finish her career the right way. She got to the free-throw line, so she was aggressive, she had some late-shot clock stuff, which was good.”
Iowa State’s downfall came on the low block. The Cyclones were unable to slow down forward Kaylee Jensen who had 35 points on 12-of-18 shooting. She also added 11 free throws and 12 rebounds.
Whenever Iowa State cut the lead in the second half, Oklahoma State went to Jensen and she routinely delivered.
“It’s for sure frustrating,” Wise said. “We just have to come together and play a full game. We can’t just play one half.”
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