It wasn’t always pretty Tuesday afternoon at Hilton Coliseum for the Iowa State women’s basketball team (8-3) but that didn’t stop the Cyclones from closing out their non-conference slate with a 79-63 win over Northern Arizona (4-7).
The Lumberjacks hung tough with the Cyclones for three quarters before Iowa State used a 16-2 run spanning the end of the third and start of the fourth in order to pull away.
“I thought NAU was a very good team, did a lot of good stuff,” Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly said. “We had a hard time guarding them on a one-day prep. Proud of our effort. Glad to be where we are.”
Sophomore center Bryanna Fernstrom was unstoppable all afternoon for the Cyclones as she scored 23 points, grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds and blocked a new program record nine shots.
The Cyclones broke the program record for blocks in a single game with 14. The previous record was 12 against Creighton in 1981.
“They said the post was going baseline every time, which she did,” Fernstrom said. “I was there and my hands were there and she just shot it into my hands. It’s not like I was really swatting it, she kind of just shot it into my hands.”
Fernstrom wasn’t the only Cyclone to pick up a double-double as sophomore point guard Jadda Buckley scored 17 points and dished 10 assists and junior guard Seanna Johnson scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
It was the first double-double of Buckley’s career and Johnson’s 22nd, and ninth this season.
“When you have three kids get double-doubles then there’s three people doing a lot of good things,” Fennelly said. “And they played off each other. Jadda’s assists were to Seanna and Bry. Blocked shots led to transition and stuff like that. Those three were really good.”
NAU knocked down eight 3-pointers on the afternoon and shot 34.3 percent from the floor. Iowa State hit eight 3-pointers, shot 38.1 percent from the floor and 74.1 percent from the free throw line.
The Cyclones finish non-conference play in December with six straight wins after one of their toughest November stretches during Fennelly’s tenure.
Iowa State now turns their attention towards a trip to face the Kansas State Wildcats, and the start of Big 12 play, on Dec. 30.
“Our team, they’re trying, they really are. It’s a good group,” Fennelly said. “We’ve never been a team that is the most aesthetic at times, but we usually try, and we usually compete.”