No. 5 Iowa State suffered its first loss of the season Sunday night, falling to No. 8 North Carolina 72-64, after the Tar Heels caught fire on offense.
UNC shot 65.4 percent from the field during the second half, to storm back from a 13-point lead the Cyclones had at the half time break.
“They played a great second half,” Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said on the Cyclone Radio Network. “We certainly didn’t do many good things in the second half. We couldn’t make a shot at all – that really hurt.”
For comparison, Iowa State finished the second half with a 31 percent mark.
It took the perfect storm, and it was the perfect storm, for the Cyclones to drop their first game of the season.
“Defensively, we got lost a couple of times,” Fennelly said. “We talked about how we were going to guard the three point line (and) how we were going to guard ball screens. We didn’t do that, and that’s my fault.”
Stephanie Soares and Ashley Joens did all they could on the offensive for the team, though.
Soares finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Joens collected 18 tallies and nine boards in the game.
“I think the biggest (takeaway) is each team is going to give us their best shot,” Joens said on the Cyclone Radio Network broadcast. “We have to stay on our game and we kind of let up there.”
Emily Ryan added 10 assists along with five points of her own.
“The tournament has helped our team to grow, for sure,” Soares said on the Cyclone Radio Network. “We’ve played some really good teams. We just have to learn (from it).”
Iowa State will return to the court on Tuesday, November 29 to face SIUE at Hilton Coliseum (6:30 p.m.). ESPN+ will have the broadcast.