Cyclones Beat Drake 64-46; Fennelly Wins 500th Game
AMES, Iowa - It was the most special of nights. Iowa State's Kelsey Bolte scored 16 points and Hallie Christofferson had a career-high 14 rebounds and four blocks as Iowa State utilized a 16-2 run in each half to beat Drake 64-46 Monday and give Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly his 500th career victory. The win makes Iowa State 2-0. Drake is 1-1.
Fennelly is the 24th active Division I head women's basketball coach to reach the 500 career win mark. He is the 41st Division I coach to ever reach that remarkable milestone. Few coaches on either list had reached the barrier while resurrecting a program like Iowa State. The Cyclones were 7-49 in conference play in the four years before Fennelly's arrival in Ames in 1995 after seven successful seasons at Toledo. Fennelly, known for ceaselessly deflecting praise to those around him, was true to form in the postgame press conference.
"So many people have helped me get here," Fennelly said. "I am especially grateful that I have been able to coach in a place close to family. I want this to be a celebration about Iowa State. I told the players after the game that I feel bad that this overshadows a good effort by our team over a good team."
A 14-minute video was shown in Hilton after the game featuring family and a host of former players from Stacy Frese to Angie Welle and the head coach's daughter-in-law Lyndsey Medders-Fennelly. Fennelly cited the support he has received from his wife, Deb.
"I have always said that Deb was my best recruit," Fennelly said. "Being a head coach's wife is a tough job. I've told her she is going to heaven."
Iowa State quickly stretched a 32-20 halftime advantage on a three-point play by Chelsea Poppens and a three on an open look for Bolte to increase the lead to 40-22 with 16:10 left in the game. When Lauren Mansfield hit a 10-footer on the baseline the Cyclones led 48-22 with 11:08 left in the game.
Iowa State got another three-point basket from Bolte and one from Mansfield early and led 8-3 with 16:31 left in the first half. Anna Prins put back an offensive rebound and then the Cyclones got a spark from Amanda Zimmerman, whose bank shot from underneath gave the Cyclones a 12-7 advantage with 11:46 left in the half.
Drake fought back and when Amber Wollschlager hit a long three to give the Bulldogs a 14-12 lead with 9:39 left in the half. ISU countered immediately with the first 16-2 run. ISU got a fast break and Prins followed a missed shot with a rebound bucket and made a free throw after she was fouled for a 15-14 Cyclone advantage. Another Prins basket was followed by a nifty pass from the point guard Mansfield on the break to Jessica Schroll for a layin and a 25-16 Iowa State advantage. When Bolte sank another three-pointer for ISU it was 28-16 with 3:16 remaining in the first half. The Cyclones led 32-20 at the break.
Iowa State repeatedly switched defenses on the Bulldogs, who made only three of its next 24 shots after netting the 14-12 lead.
Iowa State outrebounded Drake 22-14 in the first half while Wollschlager's basket was the only make in 10 Bulldog tries beyond the arc before halftime while ISU was 4-9 from three-point land.
Mansfield finished with 11 points and eight assists. Prins was also in double-figures with 13 points.
The Cyclones will be back in action Sunday at Northern Iowa. The game will be shown by Mediacom with tipoff slated for 3 p.m.