AMES — Entering their game Tuesday, the seniors on the Iowa State women’s basketball team only had two more chances to play in Hilton Coliseum.
They made the most of it. Iowa State (16-9, 7-7 Big 12) won 84-76 in overtime against the Big 12’s second-place team Oklahoma (16-9, 10-4 Big 12) – snapping a two game losing-streak.
Nikki Moody had 22 points, five assists and four rebounds. Brynn Williamson added 24 points and eight boards. Fallon Elllis had nine points and a career-high 14 rebounds.
That’s 55 points and 26 rebounds. That’s the heart of a senior – or seniors.
“The seniors acted tonight like Iowa State seniors, and played like Iowa State seniors,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “The crowd, the energy and the effort of our seniors was the difference in the game.”
The Cyclones trailed by six with 4:16 to play in regulation, after they had led by as many as 15 in the second half. They needed someone to step up.
The seniors did just that.
The Cyclones kept getting stops and the seniors scored eight straight points to push the game to overtime with the score tied at 70.
“I’ve always told the seniors at Iowa State, every senior class, that there’s certain things that I expect, and the most important thing is tell them is, ‘you need to leave a piece of you behind,” Fennelly said. “And tonight was one of those nights where our seniors did that. They left a mark that tonight, was one that changed the game. You just look at the stat sheet and the seniors won the game.”
Iowa State struck first in the overtime period when Williamson knocked down a pair of free throws.
That was just the beginning.
The Cyclones would shoot 9-for-10 from the line in overtime after shooting just 7-for-16 in the second half. They finished 23-for-33 for the night.
“We were great in the first half, the second half, I don’t know,” Fennelly said. “In the overtime we were 9-10, I think, and in the first half, I think, 7-7. Those were good, the middle was pretty shaky.”
The Cyclones were also outstanding on the glass all night long, out-rebounding Oklahoma 47-35.
Despite being the Big 12’s second-worst offensive rebounding team entering the game, Iowa State grabbed 14 offensive boards to just seven by the Sooners.
“The offensive rebound was a huge stat for us,” Fennelly said. “I’ve said this many times, in the women’s game it’s not about out-jumping someone, you got to go get it. Every rebound that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve done this way too long, the rebound has come off below the rim. So you got to go get it.”
The seniors went and got it.
Sometimes it can be tough to measure the heart of a senior. Tuesday wasn’t one of those times.
Cyclones host top international recruit
Iowa State hosted a high-profile official visitor on Tuesday in class of 2015 point guard recruit Laura Cornelius.
Cornelius, rated as the No. 3 international recruit by ProspectNation, visited ISU from Groningen, Netherlands, and it was her second visit of the week after visiting Miami.
“I’ve really had a good time. I feel like it’s a community where women’s basketball really is a big thing,” Cornelius said. “It’s really supportive. You can see it everywhere. So yeah, that’s really cool.”
Cornelius originally committed to Gonzaga as a 2014 recruit but after a coaching change and tearing her ACL, she decided to sit out a year.
“I tore my ACL and I decided to do my rehab back home and stay in Holland,” Cornelius said. “And then there was some coach change and things happened, so I decided to go through the process again.”
Cornelius also visited Kansas State and Duke before committing to Gonzaga last year. She will make a final choice between Iowa State, Miami, Kansas State and Duke.