2019 NCAA TOURNAMENT

No. 11-seed Missouri State eliminates Iowa State from NCAA Tournament

Bridget Carleton shines in Hilton Coliseum farewell, but Cyclones shoot 2 for 17 from 3-point range in 69-60 loss

Iowa State freshman Ashley Joens tries to get the ball away from Missouri State sophomore ElleRuffridge in a second-round NCAA Tournament game at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa on Monday, March 25, 2019. (Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune)
Iowa State freshman Ashley Joens tries to get the ball away from Missouri State sophomore ElleRuffridge in a second-round NCAA Tournament game at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa on Monday, March 25, 2019. (Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune)

AMES — Layups skipped across the rim. Passes were errant. Crucial 50-50 rebounds went the other way.

The blueprint for an end to the Iowa State women’s basketball season was undeniable.

“I knew this moment was coming at some point,” Iowa State Coach Bill Fennelly said after the third-seeded Cyclones were eliminated in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, 69-60, by No. 11-seed Missouri State before 5,809 fans on Monday night at Hilton Coliseum. “It doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve been here a long time … This program is back where it needs to be because of the three seniors. Unfortunately tonight, the thing that had bit us in the past is Bridget (Carleton) and Lex (Middleton) had to try and win the game by themselves and we just couldn’t make a basket. Couldn’t get a stop. But that is a credit to them.”

The loss denied Iowa State (26-9) both its first Sweet 16 berth since 2010, but also the chance to join the 2000, 2001 and 2009 squads as the only ones in history to win 27 games in a season.

Missouri State (25-9) — which lost seven of its first eight games this season — has won 24 of its last 26 and is in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001. The Lady Bears will play a regional semifinal on Saturday in Chicago.

Iowa State made just two of its 17 3-point shot attempts.

“We got good looks,” Carleton said. “I don’t know if it was anything they did necessarily. We got open looks, we just weren’t able to knock them down.

Carleton closed a fantastic career with a game-high 31 points and 10 rebounds, just seven points shy of equaling the school record for career points set by Angie Welle from 1999-2002 with 2,149.

The Lady Bears led by as many as 11 points at 43-32 after Emily Gartner capped a 10-0 burst with a basket with 4:38 left in the third quarter.

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After an Iowa State timeout, the Cyclones charged back with a 9-0 surge of their own that cut the deficit to 43-41 with 1:49 left in the frame.

Iowa State got as close as a point on three occasions in the fourth quarter, but each time Missouri State had an answer. The Lady Bears outscored the Cyclones, 14-6 over the final 4:32 of the game.

“We weren’t able to get stops defensively,” Carleton said. “I thought maybe one more stop, one more score and it was our game from there on. But we weren’t able to get that stop that we needed."

Junior guard Alexa Willard led Missouri State with 17, while sophomore Abby Hipp (11) and senior Danielle Gitzen (10) also scored in double figures.

Middleton and former Iowa City High prep Ashley Joens each scored nine points, while sophomore Kristin Scott added eight.

Women’s basketball

NCAA TOURNAMENT

Second round

At Hilton Coliseum

No. 11 Missouri State 69, No. 3 Iowa State 60

MISSOURI STATE (69): Danielle Gitzen 3-11 3-4 10, Abby Hipp 5-6 0-0 11, Brice Calip 2-11 3-4 7, Alexa Willard 7-15 0-0 17, Jasmine Franklin 2-4 0-0 4, Elle Ruffridge 2-4 2-2 7, Sydney Wilson 1-4 0-0 2, Mya Bhinhar 0-0 0-0 0, Sydney Manning 1-1 4-4 7, Emily Gartner 2-5 0-0 4, Totals 25-61 12-14 69.

IOWA STATE (60): Madison Wise 0-6 2-2 2, Bridget Carleton 10-16 10-10 31, Ashley Joens 3-15 3-4 9, Kristin Scott 4-8 0-1 8, Alexa Middleton 4-11 0-0 9, Rae Johnson 0-1 0-0 0, Adriana Camber 0-0 0-0 0, Ines Nezerwa 0-0 1-2 1, Meredith Burkhall 0-2 0-0 0, Totals 21-59 16-19 60.

Missouri State 18 15 16 20—69

Iowa State 17 13 15 15—60

Halftime — Missouri State, 33-30. Three-point goals — Missouri State 7-18 (Willard 3-6, Hipp 1-1, Manning 1-1, Ruffridge 1-2, Gitzen 1-5, Calip 0-1, Wilson 0-2), Iowa State 2-17 (Carleton 1-2, Middleton 1-2, Burkhall 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Scott 0-2, Wise 0-4, Joens 0-5). Rebounds — Missouri State 37 (Franklin 7), Iowa State 38 (Carleton 10). Assists — Missouri State 14 (Calip 5, Gitzen 5), Iowa State 12 (Middleton 5). Turnovers — Missouri State 10, Iowa State 13. Total fouls — Missouri State 16, Iowa State 11. Fouled out — None. A — 5,809.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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