Cyclones Beat Oklahoma, 72-68; Earn Season Sweep
NORMAN, Okla. - No. 24/23 Iowa State (18-5 overall, 9-4 Big 12) didn't make a field goal in the final 4:46 of its game at No. 22/19 Oklahoma (18-6 overall, 8-4 Big 12) Thursday in the Lloyd Noble Arena, instead hitting seven free throws in the final minute to secure the 72-68 win. The Cyclones earned their first victory in Norman in eight years. Iowa State, not picked for the upper division of the Big 12 in the preseason, seized sole possession of second place in the league. The Cyclones' fourth straight win was their first over a ranked opponent on the road since a win at Texas in 2010.
There were plenty of laurels to go around. Hallie Christofferson had a career-high 27 points and 10 rebounds. Chelsea Poppens had 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals before fouling out of the game with 3:01 left in the contest. On a night when guards Nikki Moody and standout defender Brynn Williamson went 0-for-11 from the floor, Blaskowsky hit a pair of monster threes in a 17-6 run that saw Iowa State turn a 49-47 deficit to a 64-55 lead on a three-point play Christofferson with 4:46 left. It was the last basket of the game by an Iowa Stater. The Cyclones wrapped up the contest at the free-throw line making seven of eight free-throw attempts in the last 40 seconds. Iowa State, which leads the Big 12 and ranks fourth nationally in free-throw shooting, finished the game 27-of-34 from the line.
"It was a great college game," Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. "I was proud of how we managed the game and overcame foul problems. Kidd made some big shots and Hallie was All-Big 12 caliber again. We took care of the ball, got to the free-throw line and we defended well. Oklahoma scored 61 against us in Ames and 66 here, that's pretty good defense. Hallie finds a way to score. We moved her to the four tonight and she was getting to the line. She will be tired tonight but she just keeps doing the right things and is a junior who is evolving into a great player. We showed a lot of heart tonight. "
Aaryn Ellenberg, Nicole Griffin and Sharane Campbell scored 14 points each for the Sooners, who committed 18 turnovers. Iowa State had made only one of its first 11 three-point attempts before Blaskowsky hit her shots from beyond the arc.
"When things got tough our team stuck together," Blaskowsky said. "Coach Fennelly told us that we weren't going to get wide open looks so I when saw an opening I took my shots."
Both teams got off to a fast start and when Christofferson got her fourth straight bucket in just 2:17 elapsed it was 16-16 with 11:50 left in the first half. Then things got a little ragged for both teams. The teams traded 7-0 runs to end up tied, 27-27 at intermission.
"We wanted to just stay in the game," Christofferson said. "We knew they had the crowd and would get their points. I was able to take care of some occasional mismatches and sealing my opponents inside. We will be motivated at practice tomorrow.
Iowa State plays host to West Virginia at 12:30 p.m. CST Sunday in Hilton Coliseum. The game is part of the Play 4Kay initiative and fans are encouraged to wear pink.