Just three days after making a school-record number of 3-pointers, Iowa State kept shooting well behind the arc Wednesday night as it took down Oklahoma State.
The Cowgirls’ six-game win streak came to an end on the road in Ames, Iowa. They fell to an Iowa State team that once again shot well behind the arc.
Iowa State beat OSU, 90-80, handing the Cowgirls their first loss in Big 12 Conference action this season. They fell to 9-3 on the season and 5-1 in the conference.
“Good college game, lot of offense,” OSU coach Jim Littell said. “Give credit to Iowa State. They’re very difficult, very hard to guard. They score at five positions. They bring kids off the bench who are seasoned and experienced. I’m proud of our kids. We didn’t get enough stops when it was important.”
The Big 12 Conference leading 3-point shooting team shot 48 percent (16 of 33) from long range against the Cowgirls. That came just three days after Iowa State made 19 of 40 at Texas Tech. Those 19 3-pointers set a new school record for a single game.
Iowa State entered the game averaging 9.7 made 3-pointers per game – two ahead of second-place Okahoma. Meanwhile, OSU ranks ninth with just 4.5 per game, ahead of only highly-ranked Baylor.
“We didn’t do a good enough job guarding the 3,” Littell said. “We had talked about it with our team, but it’s just hard to simulate how close you have to be to Iowa State and the way you have to play with high hands against Iowa State, because they can shoot it.”
OSU shot 43 percent (6 of 14) from 3-point range, but most of those came in the second half. The Cowgirls mostly scored inside as they hung with the Cyclones, but just fell short down the stretch.
The Cyclones’ outside shooting outshined OSU senior Natasha Mack’s big night. The forward from Lufkin, Texas, had another big night, scoring a career-high 34 points. Mack also grabbed 13 rebounds, recording her seventh double-double of the season.
OSU freshman Lexie Keys also scored in double figures with 14 points on 5 of 15 shooting. She hit 4 of 9 from 3-point range.
Junior Ashley Joens led Iowa State with 30 points on 10 of 23 shooting, including 3 of 9 from long range. She also grabbed 15 rebounds. Littell talked about how Joens affected the game and helped her team win.
“She just scored a lot of different ways,” Littell said. “She is probably as physical in the post as anybody in the league and can step outside and shoot the 3. She’s good off the dribble and a 92 percent free throw shooter. She’s got the whole package. We lost her at times, and that’s where we have to grow with our guards. We’ve got to understand if you think you have her covered, you don’t have her covered because she doesn’t need much to space to score the basketball. Great player, fun to watch.”
OSU trailed by nine entering the fourth quarter, but eventually cut the lead to five on two different occasions following a pair of 3s by Keys. However, ISU answered each with a 3-pointer of its own.
The Cyclones sealed the game up at the free throw line down the stretch. They didn’t let OSU get to within less than eight points in the final four minutes. The Cyclones made 12 of 13 from the foul line.
OSU will travel to West Virginia next for a game at 1 p.m Saturday. OSU beat WVU, 78-73, at home on Dec. 18. Baylor comes to Stillwater next Wednesday for a 6:30 p.m. tipoff.