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Women's Basketball

WBB: Cyclones advance to Big 12 Championship behind Alexa Middleton’s big night

Mar 10, 2019; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Iowa State Cyclones motion to the fans after the game against the Texas Longhorns in the women’s Big 12 Conference Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa State women’s basketball team is heading to the Big 12 championship game for the first time since 2013 after defeating the Texas Longhorns 75-69 in Oklahoma City on Sunday.

The matchup marked the second time the two teams played this month, as the Cyclones took a big win on the road against the Longhorns just over a week ago.

Iowa State started off the day rolling on the offensive side of the ball.

Combine a 9-of-15 mark from downtown and four straight threes to start off the game, the team built a 16-point lead and looked like it could run away from the Longhorns.

But Texas came charging back. The Longhorns used a few mini-runs to tighten things up, and took advantage of 16 straight Cyclone misses to tie the game in the fourth quarter.

Thanks to some late game heroics from Big 12 Player of the Year Bridget Carleton, Iowa State will play Baylor on Monday for a championship.

Carleton finished the night with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists on top of some big boards in the final two minutes to help her team clinch the win.

Alexa Middleton, though, might have been the bigger story.

The Tennesee transfer scored an Iowa State career-high 24 points and played a season-high 36 minutes, playing her most complete game of the season at the right time.

Freshman Ashley Joens added 13 points and 12 rebounds as the Cyclones completed the victory.

After the game, head coach Bill Fennelly was asked on Fox Sports 1 about the Baylor matchup on Monday. He kept his answer relatively simple.

“We’ll show up,” Fennelly said.