Another big game and the defense was on early as the sisters got two quick KU turnovers and turned them into points. It was close early with ISU hanging with KU behind 10-7 after KU hit a pair of treys. State was getting shots and missed several opportunities in close, but still hitting a good percentage. It was the Hal show with little help elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, getting Hal going early is huge. A nice back door cut with a pass from Seanna to Nikki would tie it at 11 but KU got a gift from the officials to get a traditional trey using an NBA style continuation play. Back and forth it went. Both teams scoring and missing, always staying close. It was all from three for KU as they were hot hitting four of them early. 17-13 KU with 12 to go. The sisters would put some heat on inside and between Nikki and Hal the ladies would take the lead 20-17 with ten to go. KU would tie it at 22 after yet another trey. On the other end the sisters were putting up bricks from deep. And KU would hit yet another trey to retake the lead 27-26 and would score again after a steal to go up 29-26 with 5:30 to go. Note...the sisters have yet to go to the line this half. Back and forth they would go and Seanna would make another great drive to knot it up at 30. My big concern was fouls. We were putting KU on the line a lot. The JayHawks were shooting over 60% for the half. They were doing it inside and out. On the other end the sisters were shooting around 55% and dominating inside. If the D would step up a bit things would shift in our favor. Turnovers were helping us as KU was getting happy feet. At the 1:37 mark Brynn would hit our first two free throws to tie the game at 34. Hal would pick up her 2nd foul right after and our interior defense would suffer for it. Gardner would hit two straight and it was 38-34 with a minute to play. KU was hitting 68 freaking percent. At the half Fallon would hit one of two to make it 38-37 at the half. Something needed to change in round two. The second half started with a banked KU three but they went cold from deep after that. Three minutes in it was tied at 41. Seanna would nail a trey with a dish out from Hal and we had the lead 44-33 four minutes in. Gardner would answer back. She was eating us alive tonight. The ladies were hanging close, but Gardner was carrying KU and Hal went to the bench with her 3rd foul down by 2 at the 15 minute mark. Gardner was pounding the offensive boards and all we were doing was fouling her in the process. She put KU up by 4 and KU would keep pushing inside. Our defense was breaking down left and right and KU was capitalizing. Our offense was missing and only getting one shot per possession. To make matters worse, Nikki would go to the bench with three fouls with 14 to play. The question now is who would pick up the slack? Well, Jadda would start by hitting a traditional trey. Kidd would be open twice, wide open and only clank iron from deep. And then...she was open again and drained it. The lead was 52-49 with 12 to go. It was a youth movement. Buckley would pick up her third with 9 to go and the game continued to go back and forth. Hal would nail a trey and it was 60-58 with 8:30 to go. Nikki followed with another trey on a Jadda assist and the lead was five. KU. Hit two straight treys sandwiched around two back door cut baskets for state and the lead was three. Hal forgot to play D and KU got an easy bucket to cut the lead to one. Back and forth it went. There didn't appear to be much defense as both teams were very efficient. We had a chance to extend the lead to five and Jadda dribbled the ball off her foot and KU converted. Yet on the other end Jadda dished to Seanna for a lay in. Three minutes left and ISU was holding on to a 4 point lead. Brynn was being a monster on the boards. Jadda made a great drive, scored and was smashed by Asia Boyd who fouled out. The lead was seven with 1:45 to go. After a KU miss, it was foul a Cyclone time. Nikki for a pair. 9 point lead. A defensive breakdown and KU would hit another wide open trey. 83-77 with :45 to go. Brynn for a pair. 8 point lead. KU scores quickly. Brynn for a pair. 8 point lead. Air ball on a three and the ladies win 87-79 and are now at the magic 20 win mark. Notes Free throw discrepancy. We seemed to foul on shots and KU didn't. Number of fouls was close most of the game but KU had three times the attempts before the foul-a-thon began. In the end state hits 17-18 free throws. Offense. The offense is clearly working at a much different level now than during the dark period of the season. A big part is getting contributions from multiple players. Rebounds. We were absolutely dominated on the boards and I was surprised by how much at the end of the game. It always seemed like it was a red jersey getting a crucial board. POG - IMO has to be Seanna tonight. She was aggressive. She was solid. But you could easily make a case for several others. You had to like the multi-headed scoring monster that this team has become. Hal 17, Nikki 18, Jadda 16, Brynn 10. Wow. The game turned when...if you read my notes above there was a point when Hal and Nikki were on the bench with three fouls and lots of time left. Those young women stepped up, led by Jadda and maintained the pace, got the lead and never let it go.