Women's Basketball

WBB: Cyclones use hot shooting to streak past Texas Tech in Big 12 Opener

Kristin Scott

Kristin Scott takes a breather before a free throw during the Cyclones 79-59 win over Texas Southern. She finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. Photo by Connor Ferguson.

Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly used the word “dynamite” to describe much of his team’s Big 12 season-opening performance at previously unbeaten Texas Tech.

It was an appropriate word choice.

The Cyclones (9-3) used a staggering shooting performance and strong all-around game to wallop the Red Raiders 96-66 in Lubbock. They couldn’t miss. No — seriously.

Iowa State started the game with eight straight three-pointers before anyone missed from the field, built a 17-point lead, held off a second quarter Tech comeback and then shut the door with a nearly flawless second half.

“We couldn’t have played any better,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said on the Cyclone Radio Network. “The first quarter and the third quarter were dynamite. We made shots. We had five people scoring. I thought we did a lot of really great things.”

It wasn’t just sophomore Ashley Joens (19 points) who scored for the Cyclones on Friday like it had been numerous times earlier in the season.

Five Cyclones finished in the double digits in scoring, led by junior Kristin Scott who had 23.

“That kid is a hard kid to guard,” Fennelly said. “She wanted the ball in key times. The one play where she put the ball on the deck and blew it by Brewer… she was really good.”

Freshman Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw finished with a career-high 17 points on a 7-for-9 shooting night from the field.

Iowa State used the hot start to get out to a 33-16 lead in the first quarter and ended the frame with a 12-point advantage.

However, as Iowa State has seen this season, a scoreless drought cooled off the hot shooters in the second quarter.

Iowa State had a three-minute scoreless stretch where Texas Tech outscored the Cyclones 8-0 and fought back into the game.

Thanks to Joens’ late lay in, Iowa State held onto a 47-45 lead at the half.

They came out in the third quarter just like they did in the first, though.

The Cyclones shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the three-point line and only allowed Texas Tech to score four points in the third.

“We just had to come out with that same energy we started with in the first half and keep it through the game,” Scott said on the Cyclones Radio Network.

ISU would lead by as many as 31 points and finished with 16 three-pointers — two shy of tying the single-game school record.

“We were efficient,” Fennelly said. “We ran our stuff, and when the shot was there, we made it.”

Iowa State returns to the court at Hilton Coliseum on Monday where they will face the No. 25 Texas Longhorns

Connor Ferguson

editor

Connor will be covering women’s basketball for Cyclone Fanatic during the 2018-19 season. He is currently a junior enrolled at Iowa State and is studying journalism at Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism. Connor also covers a variety of sports around the state of Iowa, including Indoor football and motorsports for Last Word on Sports. He also appears on-air four times a week covering high school football for 1460 KXnO, college football for his own podcast, and professional sports for 88.5 KURE – Iowa State’s student radio station.