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With two major contributors out of the lineup on Sunday, the Iowa State women’s basketball team didn’t miss a beat.
The Cyclones (6-2) defeated Mississippi Valley State by a 77-47 final without Chelsea Poppens and Anna Prins, who both missed the game due to minor knee injuries.
"I think that if it was not so close to the Iowa game that they both could have gone," said Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly. "Both of them are a little dinged up but the medical staff made the decision to hold them out. It was the smart thing to do. We’ve always kind of aired on the side of precaution."
Poppens’ injury is being referred to as an MCL strain. Prins’ setback has been lingering for a while now. Fennelly is hopeful that both will be able to play on Dec. 20 vs. Northern Iowa.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Hallie Christofferson – Mississippi Valley State’s roster doesn’t list one player that is taller than 6-foot-2. Sophomore Hallie Christofferson took advantage of the mismatch by scoring a career-high 24 points.
In a conversation on Saturday, Christofferson was challenged by her head coach.
"We want her to shoot more," said Fennelly. "She was passing up some shots. She’s such a good kid that when she misses, she doesn’t want to miss the next one because it hurts her team. Basically, what I tried to get her to understand was sometimes you’re more selfish by not shooting. Her taking a shot slightly guarded is better than some of our kids wide-open."
It was Christofferson’s fifth double-digit scoring performance of the season and the 18th of her young career. Christofferson also tacked eight rebounds and four blocks to her final numbers for the day.
NEXT WOMAN IN
The combination of being two players short and the lopsided score allowed Bill Fennelly to test his team’s depth on Sunday. Nine Cyclones played 10 or more minutes in the win.
"We tried to take the mentality from the football team, next man in," said Fennelly. "Most players complain when they don’t play so when you get the chance, do something with it. Some of them did. Some of them didn’t."
One Cyclone who made the most of her 16 minutes was freshman Fallon Ellis, who scored 11 points while snagging seven rebounds.
"Besides Hallie’s game, that was the most encouraging part of the game for me was to see someone like Fallon, who hasn’t played much get some good minutes," said Fennelly. "She can score the ball. If you look at her numbers per minutes played, she rebounds pretty well."
Freshman Brynn Williamson started in place of Poppens and scored 10 points while doing so.
Another notable performance came from junior Amanda Zimmerman, who scored 11 points in only 12 minutes of play for the Cyclones.
"Those kids work hard. They practice hard," said Fennelly. "They want to be able to say that they played at Hilton."
— The Cyclones have forced an average of 19 turnovers in their last two games. In addition to that, Iowa State held Mississippi Valley State to 27.1 percent shooting.The Cyclones have held eight opponents to under 40 percent shooting this season.
— The Cyclones have made a 3-pointer in 525 straight games, extending their NCAA record. Six Cyclones made a 3-point shot on Sunday.
— Iowa State’s assist-to-turnover ratio of 24 to nine marked its best of the season.
— Poppens’ injury forced her to miss the first game of her career. Prior to Sunday, Poppens had played in 73 straight games.