There was a lot of magic involved, it seemed, in No. 20 Iowa State’s matchup with No. 11 Texas on Saturday at Hilton Coliseum, just not quite enough to push Bill Fennelly‘s squad to a victory.
The Cyclones suffered their first home loss of the season to the Longhorns, being downed 64-62 in a game where they trailed by 13 at one point in the third quarter.
“I’m really proud of the effort of our team and the way we competed,” Fennelly said. “We just couldn’t get the ball in the basket at the right time.”
Bridget Carleton had a look at a 12-foot jumper with seconds left on the clock and a hand in her face, which would have tied the game, but it didn’t fall and the Cyclones dropped to 13-3 on the year.
Texas was led by junior Sug Sutton, who had 24 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists on the day.
“We had no answer, obviously, for Sug Sutton,” Fennelly said. “The point guard play in the game was dramatically better for them and that was the difference in the game.”
Each team had its moments, though.
Iowa State was down 13-7 nearing the end of the first quarter, before a plethora of Cyclones found ways to the rim, giving the Cyclones a 15-13 lead entering the break.
The Cyclone dominance continued in the second quarter as Madison Wise and Carleton both hit big three-pointers to give the team a 25-17 lead and force Texas to call a timeout with 7:10 remaining in the second quarter.
Everything was going Iowa State’s way. Texas – who rebounds nearly half of its offensive misses – was held to one offensive board in the half.
“We played really hard,” Carleton said. “We gave up six offensive rebounds (by the end of the game) to a team that rebounds really well. We battled on the boards and did our job.”
In those final seven minutes and 10 seconds of the half, however, Iowa State managed to score only three points. Texas took over.
The Longhorns held Carleton to shooting 1-10 from the field and came back to tie the game before halftime. At the start of the third quarter, it looked like the run by UT was going to continue.
Meredith Burkhall put the Cyclones on the board first, but the Longhorns went on a 15-0 run to space out the game.
Near the end of the run, Iowa State’s Kristin Scott had a layup attempt where she was bodied a little bit by a Texas defender Jatarie White.
Fennelly was not a fan of the call and voiced his opinion to an official, which drew a technical and put Danni Williams at the line for the Longhorns.
Williams went on to make only one of two free throws, and Texas came up empty on its extra possession, ultimately costing the Cyclones just one point.
Though, in his opening statement following the game, Fennelly addressed the technical.
“We came up two points short,” Fennelly said. “And that’s probably because of the technical. You can put that one on me.”
After the technical, Iowa State seemed to kick into gear.
The Cyclones trimmed the deficit to 10 points before their final possession of the quarter and Carleton drew a shooting foul from half court as time expired to go to the line. She made all three shots and Iowa State found themselves back in the game, only down seven points with a quarter to play.
That’s when everything turned up, and Carleton was a huge part of that, too.
Texas had pushed the lead back to 10 after a Williams three before the Carleton made three straight left-handed lay-ins and ending the stretch with a block.
That put Iowa State within four.
“There was leadership on the court,” Scott said.
Sutton would make a jumper later on to put Texas up 56-50 with 5:06 to play in the game.
Right on cue, Wise and Ashley Joens hit back-to-back 3-pointers, bolstering the crowd inside Hilton Coliseum, and tying the game at 56.
The teams remained neck-and-neck throughout the rest of the game, and ultimately Texas took home the W.
“This is just going to motivate us even more because we are just that close,” Carleton said. “We’re right there.”
Iowa State will return to the court on Wednesday to take on West Virginia on the road at 6:00 p.m. CT.