AMES — Senior point guard Nikki Moody moved into a tie atop of the Iowa State all-time career assist charts while the Cyclone women’s basketball team (17-10, 8-8 Big 12) played one of its most complete games of the season in a defeat of Texas Tech (15-13, 5-11 Big 12,) 59-47 Tuesday night.
The Cyclones led for over 37 minutes of the game, and stretched their lead to as much as 21 late in the second half.
“I thought we played defensively really well,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “Offensively, again, a little shaky. But, overall a really solid defensive effort that we needed.”
The Cyclones were much better defensively compared to the last time the two teams played when the Lady Raiders knocked down 10 3-pointers and won 71-58. This time around, Iowa State held Texas Tech to 36 percent shooting from the field and 26 percent from behind the 3-point arc with five only makes.
“They didn’t shoot the three nearly as well tonight,” Fennelly said. “We kind of banked on that. We kept them off the free throw line, which was really important and we didn’t want to give up a lot of points off transition kind of stuff. Just keep them in front of us. Overall, the game plan was executed how we wanted it to.”
Iowa State’s offense was shaky at times but the Cyclones were able to shoot 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. Most importantly, the Cyclones avoided a slow start and played one of their best 40 minutes of basketball all season. In return, the win put Iowa State in a better position to have a top-four seed and a first round bye in the Big 12 Tournament.
“It gets us to eight wins,” Fennelly said. “We’re not going to be 10th or ninth, probably. So now you’re three to eight and you just keep waiting to see what happens tomorrow. Hopefully find a way to keep ourselves in that first round bye range.”
Moody led the Cyclones with 16 points and added the nine assists needed to tie the Iowa State career assists record at 719.
The record was previously held by Lyndsey (Medders) Fennelly, who played for the Cyclones from 2004-07.
The two shared a moment after the game and Fennelly said she is ready for Moody to finally break the record.
“I gave her a hug and said, ‘Break the damn thing already,” Lyndsey Fennelly said. “I want her to break it. It means that we’re winning games. It means that our team’s playing well. It means that Iowa State basketball is in a good place. I couldn’t see a better way to break it than to own it, because she tied it tonight, and Coach winning his 600th, and we stamp our ticket to the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.”
Moody will get her chance to break the record on Senior Day when the Big 12’s best team, the Baylor Bears, visit Hilton Coliseum.
“It’s kind of like it’s at the tip of your tongue,” Moody said. “It’s kind of right there. But either way, I’ve still got games to play.”
Senior Brynn Williamson added 13 points, including three 3-pointers and junior Seanna Johnson scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds to round out the Cyclones scoring in double-figures.