Cyclones break out of slump, crush Wildcats
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AMES – No, Bill Fennelly didn’t invite Pedro Cerrarno into the locker room. Iowa State chased away its shooting demons without voodoo.
To break the hex, the Cyclones simply kept working, kept shooting. After a 3-week slump, those extra jumpers paid off.
The Cyclones blitzed Kansas State on Saturday night, 84-65. The victory improved No. 23 Iowa State’s record to 16-5 and 5-5 in the Big 12.
“We made some shots, which was nice,” Fennelly said. “That’s probably the biggest thing. For us to score 84, that’s an explosion.”
Kidd Blaskowsky and Nikki Moody took it upon themselves to end the Cyclones’ shooting woes. Blaskowsky jump-started the rout with a pair of 3-pointers to give Iowa State a 13-6 lead.
It didn’t take Moody long to match her backcourt partner. The junior swished three first half treys. Moody’s last long ball pushed the Cyclones ahead 31-10.
Moody finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 39 minutes.
“She runs the team,” Fennelly said. “She executes what we’re doing.
“She really couldn’t have played much better.”
The shooting barrage wasn’t finished. Blaskowsky drilled two more 3’s to close the half, making the advantage swell to 45-19.
Blaskowsky finished with 13 points against the Wildcats (9-12, 3-7) after starting for the first time. The sophomore had a little extra hop in her step on Saturday.
“You could tell when she got her name announced and she got to run out there in front of those people, that’s pretty damn cool,” Fennelly said.
Kansas State made things interesting in the final minutes, but it never got closer than 14 in the second half. Jadda Buckley’s trey rattled home for a 59-32 lead. Later, Brynn Williamson connected from the left corner for a 64-34 advantage.
The Wildcats didn’t give up, but two Seanna Johnson 3-pointers ended any chance of a comeback.
The blowout victory is exactly what Iowa State needed. The Wildcats aren’t a great a team, but they did beat the Cyclones in Manhattan.
Iowa State got its revenge in a big way, hitting 11 3-pointers and playing the brand of basketball Cyclone fans are used to seeing.
Five different Iowa State players hit a trey on Saturday, and four different Cyclones scored in double figures.
“Once somebody starts hitting, everybody starts hitting,” Hallie Christofferson said. “The energy just kind of spreads around the court.”
Player of the game
Kansas State coach Deb Patterson summed up Nikki Moody’s performance best.
“Nikki is very scary,” Patterson said. “Going into this game, she was No. 2 on our list or No. 1 with Christofferson. She’s kind of that engine.”
It’s possible Nikki Moody played her most complete game in a Cardinal and Gold uniform on Saturday. The junior dictated the pace all night, scoring 20 points. Moody also snared eight rebounds and dished out seven assists.
“I was just playing,” Moody said.
Moody needed just six shot attempts to tally her 20 points, going 5-of-6 from the field. She hit three 3-pointers and cashed in 7-of-9 attempts from the charity stripe.
“It gives everyone else a calm, relaxed feeling knowing we can trust her handling the ball,” Christofferson said.
- Official attendance on Saturday was 11,480.
- Ashia Woods tallied a game-high 25 points for Kansas State.
- Hallie Chirstofferson scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Seanna Johnson added eight points and seven rebounds.
- Jadda Buckley played well on Saturday. The freshman scored 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and had six assists.