Redshirt junior guard Jadda Buckley scored 25 total points at the game against UNI. ISU won 76-68. Credit: Lani Tons
AMES — There was 21 seconds left in regulation when ISU’s Seanna Johnson went 1-for-2 from the free throw line to give the Iowa State women’s basketball team a 71-68 lead over the No. 6 Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday.
The Bulldogs dribbled down the length of the court toward the left hand corner.
Mississippi State hit a three to send the game into overtime.
That was the feeling surrounding Iowa State after an 85-81 in overtime at Hilton Coliseum against Mississippi State. The Cyclones led for more than 32 minutes.
“They just stuck it down our throat and made us like it,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said on Iowa State’s first-half performance.
Iowa State started the game hot, hitting its first four shot attempts. The No. 6 Bulldogs answered back quickly with a 6-0 run to put them on top 13-8. Then ISU guard Jadda Buckley hit a layup at the 4:56 mark, sparking an Iowa State 7-0 run to give Iowa State a 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Iowa State poured it on in the second quarter. An 11 point, then a 14 point lead. After the first 20 minutes of the contest, the Cyclones went into halftime with a 43-26 lead, mostly thanks to Buckley.
“No. 11 (Buckley), that’s a warrior,” Schaefer said. “That’s one hell of a basketball player. But she’s a competitor. She ruined the game for us, but she was the best player on the floor during the first-half.”
Buckley was 6-for-10 from the field, for 17 points and four assists during the first half.
Coming out of the intermission, Iowa State continued to take it too Mississippi State.
Instead of scoring, Buckley was handing out dimes to her teammates. She tossed six assists during the third quarter. While Buckley wasn’t getting buckets for the Cyclones, Johnson and Bridget Carleton were, as both tallied five points during that 10 minute period.
Then the fourth quarter started.
“Obviously, we ran out of gas down the stretch,” ISU coach Bill Fennelly said.
Mississippi State’s full-court press started to wear the Cyclones down.
Iowa State’s double-digit lead started to fade. Seven points turned into six. Then six turned into five. Then five went down to two. In fact, Iowa State only scored five points during the final 4:45 of the game.
That cold streak carried over into the extra five minute period.
The Cyclones made an early shot within the first minute of overtime to make sure they stayed in reach with the Bulldogs. However, Iowa State didn’t score another point until there were 36 second left in the extra period.
“I’m not upset with anyone,” Fennelly said. “I know they played as hard as they could.”
It’s never easy to accept a loss. However, Iowa State has to respond quickly as they play again tomorrow, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum against the New Orleans Pirates. According to Fennelly, he wants to see how his team handles such a challenge after losing in the manner they did.
“Hopefully there will be a next time we are in this situation against a great team,” Fennelly said. “We can make one or two more plays and the outcome will be different.”