MANHATTAN, Kan. - The 20th-ranked Iowa State women's basketball team dropped its second straight road game against a Top 25 squad, falling 59-52 at No. 17 Kansas State Saturday afternoon at Bramlage Coliseum. The loss drops ISU to 13-4 on the season and 1-2 in the Big 12. Kansas State improved to 15-1 and 2-1 in the league.
Kelsey Bolte led the Cyclones with 20 points, while Alison Lacey contributed 13. The Cyclones shot 33.9 percent from the field and hit just four three-pointers going 4-for-17 from three-point range. Shalee Lehning scored 22 points, while Marlies Gipson poured in 13 for the Wildcats. Amanda Nisleit led the Cyclones on the boards with seven rebounds, as ISU outrebounded KSU, 38-32. Kansas State shot 47.6 percent from the field and knocked down just two three-pointers, but went 17-for-27 from the charity stripe.
"They are a very good defensive team and we are getting no scoring in the post," ISU head coach Bill Fennelly said. "We are a team that has to make shots and we are missing free throws and were 4-for-17 from three-point range, and some of those were good looks."
The Wildcats went to half with a 23-19 lead, after Ezell hit a shot as the clock expired. Kansas State got out to a 6-0 lead early, but Iowa State quickly got back into the game, behind a pair of baskets by Bolte to make it 6-5. From there, neither team took more than a three-point lead until Kansas State went up 23-17 with 34 seconds remaining in the half.
The Cyclones had trouble containing Gipson, who finished the first half with 10 points to lead all scorers. Gipson hit four straight shots for the Wildcats, including a field goal with 6:34 to go with a hand in her face as the shot clock expired. KSU shot 47.8 percent from the field, while it held ISU to 31 percent. Bolte hit ISU's only three-pointer of the half.
The Wildcat lead quickly ballooned to 11, 30-19, as Lehning scored seven straight points out of the break. Lehning scored KSU's first 13 points in the second period, while the Cyclones were 1-for-8 from the field over the first five minutes.
Iowa State got in quick foul trouble, committing its seventh team foul with 12:47 to go and the Wildcats went 10-for-13 from the charity stripe over the first nine minutes. The Cyclones picked up their 10th foul of the half with 9:57 to play, sending the Wildcats to the line for double bonus the rest of the game.
Iowa State went on a 6-2 run to cut the margin to eight, 48-40, with seven minutes to play. After a KSU free throw, Bolte scored and then hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to five, 49-44. The Wildcats quickly answered with a 5-0 spurt for a 54-44 advantage.
Alison Lacey nailed a trey and Bolte hit a jumper to make the score 54-50 with 1:50 remaining, but Lehning hit a long three-pointer to extend the KSU lead back to seven with 34 seconds left. Lacey hit a pair of free throws and the Cyclone defense got a stop on the other end, but ISU couldn't get a shot to fall and was forced to foul. K-State hit one free throw with four seconds left and ISU never got another possession.
The Cyclones will return to Hilton Coliseum to play host to the Missouri Tigers Wednesday at 7 p.m.