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By Ian Smith, Cyclonefanatic.com
AMES – Playing in the punishing Big 12, Iowa State’s absorbed its share of bumps and bruises this season. On Saturday night, the Cyclones pushed back.
A physical Colorado team proved no match for No. 23 Iowa State (18-8, 6-6), as a dominant second half propelled the Cyclones to a 71-45 victory at Hilton Coliseum. The Buffaloes made just 3-of-21 field goals in the second stanza and were outscored 40-17.
“All the things that every coach talks about to be efficient and win games, I thought the second half we were good at all of them,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “On offense, we made shots and didn’t turn the ball over. On defense, we held them to 3-of-21. You add all that stuff up and it turns into a 40-17 second half.”
A close first half quickly turned into a rout after the break. A stifling Iowa State defense held the Buffaloes without a field goal for the first 10 minutes and 13 seconds after halftime. The Cyclones outscored Colorado 14-2 during the span to open up a 45-30 advantage.
The rest was just semantics. There’s little chance of a comeback when a team shoots 14 percent in the second half.
“We were just better at the details, concentrating, kind of talking” point guard Lauren Mansfield said of the defensive effort. “I think we just got that confidence, got a few stops. We knew that we could hold them.”
The Iowa State offense fed off the defensive intensity. Kelsey Bolte – after sitting out the final 8:20 of the first half – got the Cyclones started with a 3-pointer from right wing. A few possessions later, Mansfield laced a pass to a streaking Hallie Christofferson for an easy layup and 39-30 lead.
The pasting was on from there.
A handful of Cyclones got in on the action as eight players scored in the game, including four in double figures. Bolte once again led the Cyclones with 17 points. Mansfield added 13, Jessica Schroll 11 and Anna Prins 10.
“Bolte is always going to get hers,” Colorado coach Linda Lappe said. “She’s a very, very talented player. She knocks down big, tough shots.
"I think that was obviously a gameplan coming in for them – to get the ball dispersed and try to get everybody else to be a part of the offense."
Player of the game
Against Colorado’s physical attack, Lauren Mansfield’s steady hands negated any chance of an upset. The junior played flawless basketball.
Mansfield recorded 13 points and three assists against zero turnovers. As a team, the Cyclones turned the ball over just six times compared to the Buffaloes’ 16.
“We know we need to help out Bolte more,” Mansfield said.
“We all know we need to step up and I think we are starting to achieve that.”
Mansfield found her range early, hitting Iowa State’s first two field goals. From there, she frustrated Colorado by penetrating and finding the hoop. The Australia native hit 5-of-11 shots in the game.
Bill Fennelly softly knocked on wood during his postgame press conference. The 16-year coach is a huge baseball fan so it makes sense that he’s a little superstitious.
Fennelly made sure not to jinx his team because its on the verge of setting the NCAA record for most consecutive games with a 3-pointer. For 510-straight games, Fennelly’s Cyclones have made a 3-point field goal. With Canisius’ own streak ending on Friday night, Iowa State is now poised to set the mark.
“It’s one of those stats that stats geeks think is cool,” Fennelly said. “Anything that brings national attention, in a positive way, to Iowa State University and our community is a good thing. If we are lucky enough to make one on Big Monday… I think it would be cool.”
The last time Iowa State didn’t make a 3-pointer was Feb. 15, 1995 at Missouri. In fact, the Cyclones didn’t even attempt a 3-pointer in that game. Of course, that was the year before Fennelly arrived in Ames.
Iowa State’s swished a trey in every game since.
Aggressive Schroll scores 11
Jessica Schroll still sports a lump on her head from the nasty concussion she suffered on Jan. 11 against Nebraska. Luckily for Iowa State, the rest of the side effects have disappeared.
An aggressive Schroll scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds in the win over Colorado.
“Lately, I’ve been trying to go 1-on-1 with my man a little more. I think I realized that I can take some of the girls that are guarding me.”
“She’s someone that is physical, strong and can get the ball to the basket,” added Fennelly. “Offensively when she is efficient, she’s hard to guard.”
– The Buffaloes are coached by Burlington native Linda Lappe. During her playing days at Colorado, she helped the Buffaloes reach three-straight NCAA Tournaments (2001-03). It wasn’t a happy homecoming for Lappe, as her team got crushed and she received a technical foul for arguing with the referees.
– Saturday’s game marked the 67th and final regular-season meeting between Iowa State and Colorado as conference opponents. The Buffaloes join the Pac 12 next season.
– Official attendance for Saturday’s game was 10,622.
– Chelsea Poppens celebrated her 20th Birthday on Saturday by scoring her 500th career point. The sophomore finished with nine points and three rebounds.
The national spotlight finds Iowa State at the perfect time. With one 3-pointer on Monday, the Cyclones will break Canisius’ record for consecutive games with a trey at 511. ESPN2 and “Big Monday” will be in Ames to document it all as Texas comes to Hilton Coliseum.
The Longhorns will enter the game 17-9 overall and 6-6 in the Big 12. On Saturday, Texas was walloped by Oklahoma, 91-62, in Norman.
Freshman guard Chassidy Fussell is averaging 20.2 point per game in conference play for the Longhorns. Kathleen Nash and Ashleig Fontenette are both averaging 10.5 points for Texas in the Big 12.
Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.