After a back-and-forth first half against Kansas on Wednesday, the Cyclones left no doubt of a victory with their play in the second half.
The Cyclones ran away from KU in the last 20 minutes, cruising to an 83-53 win in the regular season finale at Hilton Coliseum.
“I thought our defense all night was solid,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. “It was much better than when we played them at KU. We played the dribble a lot better.”
In the second half, though, the shots kept falling, and that’s when this team thrives.
“Once we got going we were fine,” Ashley Joens said. “We were confident. It was just us being aggressive on the offensive end and being able to knock down our shots. That gives us a lot of confidence.”
Joens finished the game with 23 points and 14 rebounds while senior Kristin Scott earned her way with 15 and 8.
Scott said she got a bit emotional after she checked out for the final time at Hilton Coliseum.
“When I got subbed out in the fourth quarter, I was kind of just sitting on the bench looking out to the crowd,” Scott said. “I was just kind of thinking of some memories and stuff. I did end up crying a little, but it was okay. It was just kind of surreal.”
The home finale wrapped up Iowa State’s regular season after playing a full, 25-game schedule and finishing the year with a 16-9 (12-6 Big 12) mark.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” Fennelly said. “We had 25 games scheduled and we got 25 games in. They went 16-9 with one of the harder schedules we’ve had. I told them after the game that their regular season will be one of the more special ones we’ve had here in a long time.”
Iowa State will head into next week with its eyes on the Big 12 tournament.
With West Virginia beating Kansas State on Wednesday, the Cyclones will be locked into the No. 4 seed in Kansas City.
It’s not confirmed yet, but there is a good chance the Cyclones will be matched up against Texas in the quarterfinals – the only team that swept them this season.
Regardless of opponent, Iowa State will play its quarterfinal game in Kansas City on Friday March 12 with a tipoff set for 10:30 a.m.
“We’ve got to learn how to get up and get movin,'” Fennelly said.
He’ll have his team ready.